By Syed Amin Jafri
Reiterating its “Hindutva” card, the BJP has once again sought to keep away the minorities by making “negative offerings” for them in its manifesto for Telangana Assembly elections. Given the saffron party’s track record in earlier elections and rabidly communal utterances of its star campaigners, nothing else can be expected. However, it is a bit surprising that the 66-page document does not mention “surgical strikes on the Old City” and “use of bulldozers to raze the properties of minority offenders,” as the party’s past and present state presidents have been threatening often.
The series of “negative offerings” may even scare away Minority Cell leaders and Rashtriya Muslim Manch activists of the saffron brigade. First and foremost, the BJP promises to “abolish the unconstitutional religion-based reservations” and increase the reservation for BCs, SCs and STs. Understandably, the opposition of BJP to reservations for socially and educationally backward sections of Muslims in Telangana is quite apparent ever since the SEBC Muslims were included in the Backward Class list under a separate “E” group almost two decades ago.
When the then Congress government in united Andhra Pradesh implemented its electoral promise of earmarking “five percent quota” for backward Muslims after the 2004 elections, which saw the rout of TDP-BJP alliance and consequent ouster of TDP regime in the State and the Vajpayee Government at the Centre, the “Muslim quota” was promptly challenged in the State High Court, which struck it down.
This story was originally published in telanganatoday.com. Read the full story here .