Karnataka: Cong says will restore 4% quota if it comes to power

Congress announced that they would reinstate the 4 per cent quota for the Muslim community if the party win the assembly polls in Karnataka

Muslim Quota, DK Shivakumar

On Sunday, the Congress criticized the BJP-led Karnataka government for removing the reservation for Muslims under Category 2B in the OBC list and announced that they would reinstate the quota for the minority community if they win the upcoming Assembly elections in the state, which is due in May.

The Cabinet meeting on Friday also decided to split this quantum (four per cent) equally between Vokkaliga and Veerashaiva-Lingayats at two per each in jobs and admissions in educational institutions, which was welcomed by the two politically influential communities.

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The government moved Muslims into the 10 per cent Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota.

President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) D K Shivakumar termed the step “unconstitutional”.

“They (the government) think that reservation can be distributed like a property. It’s not a property. It’s a right (of minorities)”, he told reporters here. “We don’t want their four per cent to be scrapped and given to any of the major communities. They (members of the minority community) are our brothers and family members”.

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“Entire Vokkaligas and Veerashaiva-Lingayats are rejecting this offer,” Shivakumar claimed.

Exuding confidence that the Congress party will come to power in the “next 45 days”, he said: “we will scrap all this” and added that there is no basis to remove Muslims from the OBC quota list.

Charging the Bommai government with trying to rake up “emotional issues” as its set to lose the polls, Shivakumar said as party president, he wants to declare that the first meeting of the Cabinet, in the event of Congress coming to power, would take a decision to restore the quota.