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Muslims oppose AP's quota move

Muslims oppose AP's quota move

Author: Ayoob Ali Khan
Publication: Times News Network
Date: April 6, 2007

Introduction: Reject dividing community on caste lines for reservation

The Andhra-Pradesh government's move to grant 5% reservation to Muslims by categorising a majority of them into backward classes seems to be running into rough weather with some powerful Muslim groups opposing it.

The state's decision on reservation for Muslims is pending before the supreme court with little hope of getting a favourable verdict. To bypass the possible judicial hurdle, the state hired the services of former bureaucrat P S Krishnan, an expert in social hierarchy in the country, to find out the means of giving reservation to Muslims. Krishnan who started his work about seven weeks back believes that since the courts are reluctant to grant Muslims reservation on the basis of religion, the community could be stratified into groups of backward classes and granted what the Congress government had promised before the 2004 polls.

Krishnan, a former AP cadre IAS officer who retired as secretary to the government of India, has discretely prepared a list of two dozen backward classes in which the Muslims can be fitted.

The Muslims in the state believe that dividing the Muslims on caste lines for the sake of reservation benefits would permanently damage its identity as a casteless community.

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), an ally of the Congress that has five MLAs and an MP, has made a representation to the CM recently. According to sources, the MIM wishes to handle the issue of reservation quietly. Though it is opposed to the Krishnan strategy, it does not want it to be turned into a public debate.

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