The BJP-led Karnataka government on Tuesday opposed a plea challenging scrapping of four per cent reservation for Muslims in the 2B category of the Other Backward Castes (OBC). Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai-led government said that the pleas are not maintainable as petitioners have directly moved the Supreme Court.
The government also called the reservation on the basis of religion “unconstitutional”. It also said that the petitioners have failed to plead or prove a case for interim relief.
Earlier in the day, Bommai said the state government will not implement its decision to scrap the reservation till the hearing in the Supreme Court is completed. He emphasised that the reservation for 17 sub-castes of extremely backward Muslims who are placed in Category-1 and Category 2-A have not been touched.
“We had decided that till the time the hearing is complete, we will not take it forward. Court has not given any stay. We only have said that you (SC) hear the case; so long the case is heard, we will not implement it,” Bommai told reporters.
His reaction came after the Supreme Court directed the Karnataka government not to implement its decision of scrapping four per cent reservation for Muslims till May 9 when the matter will be heard.
At the fag end of its term, the BJP government decided to abolish the four per cent reservation for Muslims under 2-B category. The four per cent was later split into two equally and distributed among the two dominant communities of the state – Vokkaligas in 2-C category and Lingayats in 2-D category.
“There are about 17 sub-castes within Muslims – Pinjar, Darzi, Chakarband. Those are still in the backward classes only under Category-1 and 2A. Those who are extremely poor are still in those two categories,” Bommai said, adding that the Muslims have been placed in the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category which is entitled for 10 per cent reservation.
“Those who were getting four per cent have been put in the 10 per cent category. This way, no injustice has happened,” Bommai explained.
Even Union Home Minister Amit Shah also defended the BJP government’s decision in Karnataka of scrapping four per cent quota for Muslims saying the party never believed in “religion-based reservation”. “There was a religion based reservation of four per cent for Muslims. Without falling for the vote bank politics, the BJP government abolished the Muslim reservation,” he said addressing a public meeting at Terdal in this district.