Siddaramaiah govt under NCBC fire: Religion-based ‘quota push’ in K’taka vindicates what PM Modi said?

New Delhi: The religion-based ‘reservation push’ in Congress-ruled Karnataka has come under the lens of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), as it has red-flagged its reservation policy, observing that “categorising the whole Muslim population as a backward caste for reservation” will take away the rights of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

The NCBC has taken strong objections to the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government’s reservation policy for admissions in educational institutions and appointments in state government jobs, saying that carving out quota for Muslims within the OBC category will rob the rights of the deserving candidates from the backward classes to get the benefits of reservation.

Notably, this comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi denounced the Congress at a rally in Rajasthan on Sunday, claiming that the party will snatch the wealth and ornaments of the public and redistribute them among the ‘infiltrators’ if voted to power.

A day later, he also accused the previous Congress regimes of trying to bring religion-based reservations for cultivating its Muslim vote bank.

The Karnataka government pushing religion-based quota within the OBC for extending reservations, to Muslims in particular, comes as a direct indictment for the grand old party, which accused PM Modi of communalising the election campaign.

As per the 2011 Census, the percentage of the Muslim population in Karnataka stood at 12.92 per cent.

Notably, the state government’s Backward Classes Welfare Department has categorised the entire castes and communities of the Muslim religion as socially and educationally backward and listed them under a separate Muslim caste under Category II-B.

Moreover, it is already providing reservations to 17 socially and educationally backward communities of Muslims under Category I, and 19 communities under Category IIA.

The NCBC pointed out that such religion-based reservation goes against the ethics and norms of social justice which will ‘set a wrong precedent’.

“The religion-based reservation affects and works against the ethics of social justice for categorically downtrodden Muslim castes/communities and identified socially and educationally backward Muslim castes/communities under Category-I (17 Muslim castes) and Category II-A (19 Muslim castes) of the State List of Backward Classes. Hence, socially and educationally backward castes/communities cannot be treated at par with an entire religion,” the NCBC said.


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