All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi, during discussions on the Dakshin Dialogues 2022 platform on Saturday, 17 September, said he could live without reservation but not live with injustice.
Owaisi’s statement comes in the wake of a debate around reservations about Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the country at a panel discussion during Dakshin Dialogues 2022 in Hyderabad.
Reservation had become a political tool, said Owaisi, adding that it would impact India’s federal structure.
“I have opposed reservations and voted against them in Parliament. Why is there a need for reservation? Show me where it allows for such in India’s constitution,” Owaisi said.
He also said that the EWS was demanding 10 percent reservations within the existing 50 percent quota.
Owaisi said his “backwardness” was based on empirical evidence, which should be given to the public.
“Reservation has become a political tool for everyone. Political parties aim to give it to almost all the communities, such as Jats, Patels, and Gujars. So, this 10 percent reservation will impact federalism,” he claimed.
However, the MP also pointed out he hoped the Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court would decide on the issue, and said it is unconstitutional to have reservations on economic grounds.
Professor G Mohan Gopal, one of the panellists, said, “If the Supreme Court accepts the carving out of reservation for the not-so-backward economically weaker sections, it is a betrayal of the Constitution.”
Owaisi also took a minute to slam the Union Government for not allowing the states to act independently.
“Bureaucrats in Delhi don’t know the situation of a particular state, and with their supremacy, many states have succumbed in various instances like GST and lockdown. The supreme leader doesn’t believe in diversity,” he said.
The Union government denied ₹50,000 crore to the states, Owaisi alleged, saying it was time for the states to assert themselves.
Link to the livestream of the inaugural Dakshin Dialogues event held by South First: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-AEKnYA704
Link to all the videos from the event: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbZMvW807JWuNBOcYK5c91w/videos
Link to the news reports from the event: https://www.thesouthfirst.com/category/dakshin-dialogues/