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Quota battle in Andhra another recipe for disaster?

The quota for Backward Classes (BCs) is once again roiling the political landscape in Andhra Pradesh as the state government gears up to hold elections for local bodies this month. 
 
The one-upmanship between the YSRCP and TDP to consolidate their positions among the BCs, who account for 48% of the population, is expected but the way the battle is unfolding doesn’t bode well for the state. Their moves can only have one result—create an impression in the community that they are being victimised.
 
The BCs enjoyed 34% quota till the 2013 elections but to repeat the same appears an insurmountable task given the Supreme Court verdict capping reservations at 50%. Even in 2013, the apex court had made a one-time exemption for the then united Andhra Pradesh. 
 
Knowing this fully well, the state government in December last issued a GO providing BCs 34% quota, taking the overall reservations to 59.85%. The High Court struck it down forcing the government to cap the quota at 50% and press forward. However, the TDP has moved the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order.
 
It is certain that the party will have to eat humble pie, which raises questions over its intentions. More so, since the same TDP had submitted an affidavit in the High Court in 2018 when it was in power that quota beyond 50% cannot be extended as per the Supreme Court judgement! One cannot but conclude that it is unadulterated politics at play. 
 
In Telangana and Karnataka, where the population of BCs is more than in Andhra, polls were held within the bounds of the law. Worse is the way the opposition is misleading the people, frequently citing Tamil Nadu where BCs do not have any quota in local body elections! 
 
If proportional representation has to be given, why not conduct a scientific survey? Such an exercise alone will make a convincing case. Any other method will fail and harm the very constituency the parties profess to love.

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