While Jagan never promised reservation or BC status for Kapus, rolling back TDP’s feeble promises has sparked resentment among the community.

Kapu leaders slam Jagan over not including them in EWS quota
news Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - 10:42

Representatives of the Kapu community have condemned the Andhra Pradesh state government’s orders on implementing EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) quota, which left out the provision for 5% reservation for Kapus issued by the previous TDP government. Former minister Mudragada Padmanabham, who has been leading the movement for reservation and BC category inclusion for Kapus in recent years, has written a strongly worded letter to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, deploring the decision.  

Asking if Jagan thought  Kapus had voted for him desiring the budget allocation of Rs 2,000 crore, Mudragada reportedly wrote, “Does he want to treat Kapus as slaves and vote bank?”  

Following violent protests by the community in 2016 led by Mudragada, the TDP government had constituted the Manjunath Commission in February 2016 to look into the issue. The state cabinet took the decision to grant 5% reservation to Kapus based on the Commission's report, though the report was not signed by the chairperson of the three-member panel. With the Centre rejecting the state’s plea to include Kapus as BCs through a Constitutional amendment in order to provide the reservation, Naidu then used the opportunity to provide Kapu quota from the 10% quota announced by the Centre for EWS (Economically Weaker Sections). 

The TDP government had passed a bill to provide 5% reservation for Kapus out of the total 10% reservation for EWS proposed by the Centre. The government had issued GOs in the month of March to this effect, but Kapu reservation has not been implemented so far with the matter being sub-judice in the AP High Court. The High Court has issued an interim order regarding writ petitions filed against Kapu reservation, stating that it is not possible to make a decision at this point, as a petition challenging 103rd Constitutional Amendment is pending before the Supreme Court. 

Although Jagan has not closed all doors on the Kapus’ demands, and has appointed a 3-member panel to look into the Manjunath Commission report, A Government Order issued by the Jagan government on Saturday provided guidelines for implementation of EWS quota in the state, with no mention of special benefits for Kapus. Given the uncertainty around the legitimacy of implementing the Kapu reservation, the government has approved EWS quota to be implemented for all castes which are not covered under any reservation category (SC/ ST/BC).

Speaking to TNM, Vasireddy Yesudas from the Kapu Joint Action Committee (JAC) said, “What right does Jagan Mohan Reddy have to roll back the reservation proposed by the Telugu Desam Party? Whether the reservation could be implemented is for us to figure out. The matter is still sub-judice. Just because someone filed petitions in the court, how can he remove the provision? Jagan has done this to oppress our community.” 

Yesudas said that the movement will be strengthened until their demands are met. “We are not going to let this go. We will organise our community members and continue our movement in all the constituencies in AP. We will meet with the community leaders of each constituency in every district to discuss how this move will hurt Kapus. Jagan will suffer the same fate as Naidu for doing this,” he said. 

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