All five members of the BJP were suspended from the Telangana Legislative Assembly on Sunday, as they tried to stall the proceedings and protested against the bill for increasing the reservations for Muslims in the state.
Speaker Madhusudhana Chary announced the suspension of all the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members for the one-day special session of the House after Legislative Affairs Minister Harish Rao moved a resolution to this effect.
BJP floor leader G Kishan Reddy and the party's state President K Laxman were among the lawmakers suspended from the House.
The BJP members raised slogans against the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government and tried to disrupt the debate on the draft legislation that seeks to increase quota for the Muslims and the Scheduled Tribes to 12% and 10% respectively.
Earlier, participating in the debate, Kishan Reddy termed the bill unconstitutional, and said it would not stand judicial scrutiny.
He said that the BJP was strongly opposed to reservations on the basis of religion, and alleged that injustice was done to the Backward Classes by including Muslims in the BC (E) category.
Kishan Reddy said the 4% quota provided to the Muslims by the previous government in undivided Andhra Pradesh was struck down by various courts and the case was still pending in the Supreme Court.
He found fault with the TRS government for clubbing the Scheduled Tribes reservation with the Muslim quota in a single Bill.
The Telangana government had convened a special session of the Assembly, a day after the state cabinet decided to hike the reservations for the socially and economically backward among Muslims on Saturday, to 12% from the existing 4%.
KCR said that Telangana was following the model of Tamil Nadu, where the overall quota for different groups is 69%.
Addressing the session, he also insisted that it was not a quota based on religion but based on socio-economic backwardness.
Ahead of the session on Sunday morning, the BJP leaders held placards at the Ambedkar statue near the Secretariat, and dubbed the Telangana government's move, vote bank politics.
(Image credit: Dr. K Laxman)
Earlier, Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu stated that the BJP was against providing reservation based on religion.
"Reservation based on religion will lead to social unrest in society. Such move also paves way for formation of another Pakistan. Therefore, our government won’t allow religion-based reservation which is against constitutional norms. It is BJP’s national policy and not the policy of party’s Telangana state unit,” he was quoted as saying.