The Congress on Wednesday demanded that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao convene a special session of the Legislative Assembly to bring an amendment in Panchayat Raj Act 2018 to increase the quota for Backward Classes (BCs) to 52%.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad, Congress spokesperson Dr Dasoju Sravan alleged that the TRS government was not serious on increasing quota for BCs in Panchayat Raj elections.
"Instead of admitting its mistake of adopting an erroneous approach, KCR is trying to blame Congress party for the reprimand TRS Government received from the Hyderabad High Court on the issue," Sravan said.
He also pointed out that the quota for BCs, which was 34% in 1999, was kept unchanged in the recently passed Panchayat Act. However, the Intensive Household Survey conducted by the state government in August 2014 revealed that BC communities constitute 52% of total population.
"Therefore, a special Assembly session must be convened to amend the Panchayat Raj Act increasing BC quota in Panchayat Raj polls from present 34% to 52%. An all-party meeting should be convened to bring consensus on the issue and Congress will extend unconditional support to any amendment that provides increased quota for BCs," Sravan said.
However, if the BC quota is enhanced from present 34% to 52%, the total percentage of reservation in Panchayat Raj elections would be 79% .
"If the CM is ready to fight for 61% quota in the Supreme Court, he could as well defend 79% if he is serious towards BCs," Sravan contended.
Earlier, Sravan had demanded that the government conduct a fresh enumeration of BC voters in the state along with their categories. He said implementation of reservation and categorisation without having actual number of BC voters would be a gross injustice to the communities, especially the marganlised and unrepresented communities, despite High Court's intervention.
At the time, he said that despite constituting 52% of the total population, the representation of BCs in Assembly was just 16.8% out of the total 119 MLAs. He alleged that BC communities were being treated as vote giving machines. Therefore, he said increase in the number of BC representatives in the local bodies would serve as a ladder for the BC communities to climb to higher positions in other law making bodies.