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Karnataka: Scrapping Of Muslim Quota Grave Injustice, Will Challenge It Legally, Say Muslim Leaders

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the religious minorities quota would be done away with and brought under the 10 per cent pool of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category without any change of condition.

Muslims returning after Eid-ul Fitr prayer in the city
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Following the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Karnataka government's decision to scrap 4 per cent quota for Muslims in the state, Muslim leaders have slammed the decision and have said they would challenge it in the court.

Earlier on Saturday, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the religious minorities quota would be done away with and brought under the 10 per cent pool of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category without any change of condition.

The 4 per cent reservation given to Muslims under 2B classification of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category will now be divided into two equal parts and added to the existing quota of Vokkaligas and Lingayats for whom two new reservation categories of 2C and 2D were created during the Belagavi Assembly Session last year. 

Grave injustice: Muslim leaders BJP government's decision

The BJP government's decision has left Muslims to compete with the General category for the 10 per cent reservation meant for EWS category, which is decided based on family income. Muslim leaders called it a "grave injustice meted out to them". 

Some top Muslim religious leaders of Karnataka on Saturday held a meeting where they denounced the move and vowed to fight it out legally. They also called it a political move by the BJP government to win the upcoming Assembly election.

"Today, Muslims are below the SC and ST in terms of education. You can make out from the atrocities being perpetrated against the Muslims," Maulavi Maqsood Imran of Jamia Masjid and a member of the Ulema Council told PTI, adding, "We will not hit the street or create ruckus on the road. We will fight for our rights legally."

Imran said there was no objection to Vokkaligas and Lingayats getting additional reservation but it should not happen by taking away someone else’s rights.

He added, "We want to appeal to the Vokkaliga and Lingayat seers whether they would like to take those rights which were snatched from others and given to them. We want them to build pressure on the government to get their due share of reservation."

According to Imran, it was possible to enhance the reservation for Vokkaligas and Lingayats without taking it away from Muslims.

In the meeting at the Khadaria Masjid on Millers Road, Muslim religious leaders also consulted lawyers on taking forward the fight legally.

Dalit leaders also unimpressed

The Karnataka Cabinet, which met on Friday, had also decided to split this quantum of four per cent equally between Vokkaligas and Veerashaiva-Lingayats at two per cent each in jobs and admissions in educational institutions. 

The move, which comes ahead of the Assembly elections that are due by May, was welcomed by the two politically influential communities. 

The Karnataka Cabinet also made recommendations to the Union government regarding internal reservation for Scheduled Castes: six per cent for SC (Left), 5.5 per cent SC (Right), 4.5 per cent to "Touchables" and one per cent to others (total 17 per cent). 

But Dalit leaders are unimpressed with the internal reservation, and said it meant nothing until the 17 per cent for the SCs passed by the Karnataka Legislature got Constitutional validity. 

Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (Ambedkar Vada) leader Mavalli Shankar said the internal reservation for the SCs would not stand court scrutiny.

“Till the time the 17 per cent reservation gets constitutional validity as was done for Economically Weaker Sections, the internal reservation for the SC (Left), SC (Right), SC (Touchables) and other SCs has no meaning,” Shankar told PTI.

A senior Dalit officer too expressed his unhappiness over the internal reservation saying it was just an eyewash because there was no constitutional validity to the 17 per cent reservation proposed for the SCs by the State government.

(With PTI inputs)

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