On Friday, the Karnataka Cabinet agreed to remove the 4% OBC reservation for Muslims. They will be transferred to the 10% EWS quota basket. Meanwhile, the 4 per cent quota of Muslims will be given to Vokkaligas (2 per cent) and Lingayats (2 per cent).
Let us dive a little into history to understand BJP’s decision.
The November 2022 Muslim Reservation Deliberations
The demand to end Muslim employment and educational reservations is gaining support within the BJP and being considered at various levels of the organization. Muslims are in the Category 2A of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and receive 4% reservation. Aravind Bellad, a Dharwad West Legislator, and Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, a Vijayapura MLA, have led a vocal minority of BJP members in calling for the elimination of Muslim quotas because they are unconstitutional.
The action might have two effects: it could create division among voters before the election and give the government more room to manoeuvre around the quota problem. Muslim communities already receive “greater reservation,” according to BJP officials urging the government to abolish it.
According to some, the most significant political issue the BJP government is experiencing can be resolved by eliminating the quotas for Muslims and Christians (classified under Category 3B). According to officials, it will assist the government in meeting the demands of the Panchamasali Lingayats, the BJP’s primary voter base, who want to be placed in Category 2A and have their reservation quota increased by 10%.
The Telangana Promise
According to reports, if the BJP wins the upcoming assembly elections and forms the state’s administration, it will likely abolish the Muslim reservation in Telangana. Statewide elections are expected to take place in December 2023.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah made it plain during his speech to a crowd at a public event in Tukkuguda, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, that the party is opposed to religion-based reservations. He declared that if the BJP takes power in the state, all such reservations will be eliminated.
Shah claimed that the Muslim reservation impacts Telangana State’s other minorities’ quotas. Additionally, he stated that the released quota would assist SCs, STs, and OBCs and that reservations based on religion would be eliminated.
What is the Difference Between the OBC quota and the EWS quota?
The OBC reservations are for the Other Backward Classes section’s non-creamy layer. A 27% reservation is made for them. A segment of the “General” classes (not included under OBC, SC, or ST) whose household income is less than Rs. 8 lakhs is eligible for the EWS. A 10% seat reservation is made for them.
What is NewsHamter’s Analysis On The Scrapping Of The Quota?
We at NewsHamter believe that each community should get equal representation in education and jobs to progress further. However, the recent decision taken by the BJP-led government seems to have been taken to woo the Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities in the state. Their vote bank is significant for the BJP to win. With the recent recategorizations, the BJP may take further steps to consolidate its vote bank in the state.