In order to appease Muslims ahead of Assembly polls, SP goverment of UP again pushes for Muslim quota, which has been quashed by courts several times
Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav seems to be perturbed by the criticism of Azam Khan, on the one hand, over the choice of Amar Singh for Rajya Sabha, and equally puzzled by the discontent of Maulana Bukhari over the non-inclusion of a Muslim in the panel prepared for the Upper House. They do not want to lose the support of Muslims, and therefore they are once again raising the issue of 18 per cent reservation for Muslims.
Even though it is a clear election gimmick, the Samajwadi Party government is likely to bring a resolution in the State Assembly for providing reservation to Muslims. The resolution, after getting passed by the State Assembly, would be sent to the Centre for further action. Supreme Court, on the other hand, has already fixed a cap of 50 per cent on the quota. The Assembly session can be called any day by the Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey, since after the conclusion of the Budget Session, the House instead of being prorogued was adjourned sine die. The official source say the resolution to be moved in the Assembly by Minority Affairs Minister Azam Khan will be a statement of intent of the government to implement the Sachar Committee report, which includes 18 per cent reservation for Muslims. The reservation will be not be just in government jobs, but in tenders and State government schemes too.
Akhilesh Yadav during his little over four years of tenure since March 2012, had promised quota to Muslims twice – first in the election manifesto released ahead of the 2012 State Assembly election and later in 2014 released before the Parliament polls. Samajwadi Party had promised that the Muslims would be treated at par with the Dalits, who too have been given reservation in terms of their numbers. Quota for the minority community would be given in the light of Sachar Committee's recommendations by treating the Muslims as ‘most backwards’ from socio-economic and educational aspects.
Pushing for the Unconstitutional Act
The urgency of this kind seems to be necessitated by Azam Khan’s wrath over the nomination of Amar Singh as party candidate for the Rajya Sabha. “It is the most unfortunate thing to have happened in the Samajwadi Party. It will immensely damage the party in the long run. Lekin yah faisala malik ka hai.” said Azam Khan in Rampur recently, adding that “Nobody has the right to challenge the decision of Mulayam Singh Yadav who is the owner of the party.” Azam Khan registered his strong protest in the meeting of the parliamentary board when Amar’s name was proposed.
On the other hand, the angry Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Sayed Ahmad Bukhari questioned as to why did the Samajwadi Party not field any Muslim candidate for the Rajya Sabha and the Vidhan Parishad saying that the love of the ruling party towards the minority seems farce. “Muslims have always voted for Samajwadi Party. Hence, they should get their due through representation in the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council”, Bukhari told journalists after meeting SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow recently. He said the State government has failed to protect Muslims and they had to bear the brunt in clashes like in Ghaziabad and other places.
n Dr Shakti Kumar Pandey