TRS government's Muslim quota move aimed at 'hijacking' voters: Union Minister Naqvi

File photo of Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Photograph:( Others )

PTI Hyderabad, Telangana, India Dec 04, 2018, 06.22 PM (IST)

The Telangana government's decision to give 12 per cent quota to Muslims in the state has no constitutional validity, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Tuesday, alleging it was aimed at "hijacking" the voters for electoral gains.

Some parties, despite knowing that religion-based reservation was not possible, come out with such decisions only to "hijack the voters", Naqvi, on the campaign trail said, targeting the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government.

"Everybody knows even KCR (as K Chandrashekar Rao is popularly known) and also the Congress party that on the basis of religion it is not possible to give any type of reservation.

The first thing is Constitution does not allow such reservation," the minority affairs minister told PTI here.

"People need to be aware about such things," he said, reacting to the TRS chief and caretaker chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao's promise in this regard.

The Telangana legislature had earlier passed a bill increasing reservation in jobs and education for backward sections of the Muslim community to 12 per cent from the earlier four per cent.

The bill is yet to get the Centre's approval.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday alleged the caretaker Telangana government was betraying the country and insulting the Constitution architect B R Ambedkar by proposing religion-based reservation with 12 per cent quota for Muslim minority while "stealing the rights of Dalits."

The Bharatiya Janata Party would never allow religion-based reservations as it is "unconstitutional," party chief Amit Shah recently said.

On demands by some in the BJP and the RSS for bringing out an ordinance for construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, Naqvi said "it would have been ideal had there been an amicable settlement. Unfortunately, there is a delay...There is demand from saints and seers and it is natural."

"BJP is in favour of the construction of Ram temple," he said but refused to comment if the Centre would promulgate an Ordinance in this regard.

Naqvi, meanwhile, said in a statement that some people and parties have opened "communal auction centre of votes" where the self-styled "champions of secularism" "bid" for votes.

Some people "mercilessly and shamefully" bid for votes, sometimes in the name of religion and sometimes making people afraid of the BJP. But the nefarious design of these "vote ke saudagar" (traders of votes) have been exposed, he claimed.

He said the Modi government followed the policy of "empowerment without appeasement" and development with dignity.

It has been successful in creating an atmosphere of development with trust among all sections of society without any discrimination during the last four-and-half-years, he said. 

The Opposition, especially, the Congress, has been suffering from "bankruptcy of facts. That is the reason the Congress leaders are making personal attacks against Prime Minister," he said.

"Sometimes Rahul Gandhi, some other party and sometimes Owaisis...They are masters of abusing and a competition is going on who is the champion of abusing. But the people of the country will teach these people a lesson," he added. 

Story highlights

The Telangana legislature had earlier passed a bill increasing reservation in jobs and education for backward sections of the Muslim community to 12 per cent from the earlier four per cent. The bill is yet to get the Centre's approval.