Union Home Minister Amit Shah has defended the Karnataka government's decision to scrap the 4 per cent reservation for Muslims under the 2B Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category, saying the quota on religious lines was constitutionally invalid.
Amit Shah, who was addressing public rallies in Gorata village in Bidar district and Gabbur in Raichur district, the Union Home Minister slammed the grand old party for bringing the 4 per cent Muslim reservation for "its vote bank politics".
“The BJP never believes in appeasement. So, it decided to change the reservation,” Shah said strongly defending the decision.
“The BJP abolished the four per cent reservation given to the minorities and gave two per cent to the Vokkaligas and two per cent to the Lingayats,” Shah said.
"The reservation for minorities is not Constitutionally valid. There is no provision in the Constitution to give reservation based on religion. This Congress government did it for its appeasement politics and gave reservation to the minorities,” he added.
However, the Congress meanwhile declared on Sunday that it would restore the 4 per cent Muslim quota if elected to power. Assembly Elections in the state are due to be held in May this year.
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.
The government moved Muslims into the 10 per cent Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) pool.
DK Shivakumar, President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), termed the step by Karnataka government as "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.
"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".
"Entire Vokkaligas and Veerashaiva-Lingayats are rejecting this offer," Shivakumar claimed.
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