BJP leaders termed the "religion-based" reservation as "unconstitutional".

BJP continues protest against Telanganas Muslim quota hike several arrested Image credit: Facebook/ BJP Telangana
news Politics Monday, April 17, 2017 - 17:19

A day after the Telangana legislature passed a Bill increasing the quota for backward Muslims to 12%, the BJP launched a massive protest by laying siege to offices of district collectors across the state.

Terming the "religion-based" reservation as "unconstitutional", BJP leaders and workers participated in the protests in all 31 districts.

Police arrested the protesters as they sat in front of office buildings and raised slogans against the government.

The protest at the office of Hyderabad's District Collector led to tension. There was a heated argument between the police officers and BJP leaders.

Police personnel bodily lifted the protesters and detained them. Those detained included BJP's national General Secretary, P Muralidhar Rao and member of Telangana legislative council, Ramachandra Rao.

Muralidhar Rao slammed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government for taking 'unilateral action' on increasing the reservation quota for Muslims from 4% to 12%. 

He said the Bill providing reservation for Muslims was struck down twice by the High Court in the past.

The State Assembly and Council unanimously passed a Bill for hiking quota for Muslims and Scheduled Tribes on Sunday.

All five members of BJP were suspended from the assembly for stalling the proceedings during the debate on the Bill. Its lone member in the council staged a walkout.

In the Assembly, BJP floor leader G Kishan Reddy termed the Bill unconstitutional, and said it would not stand judicial scrutiny.

He also found fault with the TRS government for clubbing the Scheduled Tribes reservation with the Muslim quota in a single Bill.

Scores of BJP leaders and activists were also detained by the police early on Sunday, as they tried to march towards the Assembly building from different places.

Speaking in the Assembly on Sunday, KCR clarified that the reservations were being provided purely on the basis of socio-economic backwardness and not on the basis of religion or caste.

Stating that he had "impeccable and unquestionable data" on the socio-economic backwardness of those who would get reservation, KCR asked for the Centre's approval, and added that the state would not hesitate to move the Supreme Court. 

KCR said, "Tamil Nadu is implementing 69% reservations for over two decades. Five to six states are providing more than 50% reservation. How can you deny this to Telangana?" 

Meanwhile, BJP's Telangana unit President, K Laxman, said the party would continue its protests.

IANS inputs

 

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