Kommineni Srinivasa Rao

On the subject of reservations, several attempts are being made in both the Telugu states to deceive the people with fraudulent promises. As expected, the Centre has sent a memo on the subject. Instead of Andhra Pradesh, the state of Telangana finds mention in this, which is a bit odd given that in Telangana, Muslims have been given 12% reservation.

The Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly passed a resolution stating that 5% reservation would be accorded to the Kapu community. Similarly on the issue of tribals when the boyas sought inclusion in the ST category, the AP assembly passed a resolution to this effect.

The chief ministers of both states are leaders with experience. Both of them have spent as many as four decades in public life. Both have vast legislative experience as well. They have great political insight. In other words, they are familiar with vote bank politics. In Telangana it is only in name that Muslims are being given reservation. How is it possible to extend reservations to a community which is about 12% in all? Does that mean that all Muslims should be given reservation? Moreover, the BJP is in power at the Centre and it is widely known that the party is opposed to the idea of reservations based on religious affiliation. Then how would this be achieved? Supreme Court directives in this matter are clear. There should be no more than 50% reservations.

Though the Telangana government is aware of the fact that the Centre would have to amend the constitution in order to implement this, it has passed a resolution passing the buck on Muslim reservations to the centre. If the Centre does not accede to Telangana’s plea on reservations that would be yet another stick to beat the BJP with.

The AP government appointed a BC Commission which toured different parts of the state. However, without consulting the chairman of the commission Manjunath, Chandrababu Naidu met the other members of the commission in a great hurry and got the required recommendations based on which the legislative assembly passed a resolution which was sent to the Centre. Chandrababu Naidu is fully aware of the fact that the Centre must lend its acceptance. All the Telugu Desam MLAs are also fully aware of this fact. Things went so far as to Chandrababu Naidu, offering sweets to BJP Minister, Manikyala Rao, who reciprocated with a similar gesture. Who are they trying to cheat here?

Evidently, Chandrababu had elections in mind when he came out with this announcement. He too, like KCR, wants to shift the blame on to the Centre and sit back complacently. This was part of a strategy devised by Chandrababu to counter Mudragada Padmanabham's agitation for reservation to Kapus, which, at one point had reached a climactic stage. Kapus had then been subjected to a lot of humiliation and victimisation, following which Chandrababu Naidu came up with this plan to pass the buck on to the Centre, after a token approval in AP.

It appears as if Chandrababu Naidu, using his select media outlets, is likely to play the same game when it comes to Special package and Special Status. One such media organisation allied to the TDP reported that after the BC Commission had been appointed, a resolution was passed by the Assembly and sent to the Centre, based on its recommendations. It further said that the PMO had not moved the matter any further.

The TDP, in all matters, is determined to shift the blame on to the Centre, it appears. On its part, the BJP has remained silent on the issue. PM Modi too has not said a word. The rift between the BJP and TDP seems to be widening. It is very likely that the issue of Kapu reservations is only creating another schism, judging by the fact that the Centre has not amended the Constitution, as required. This is something leaders of both Telugu states know. Perhaps, to expect leaders indulging in vote bank politics to behave any better, is futile.