Congress MP threatens to quit over scheduled caste categorisation

July 7th, 2008 - 7:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, July 7 (IANS) An MP of the ruling Congress Monday threatened to resign over the issue of categorisation of scheduled castes (SC) for sharing reservation benefits. Harsha Kumar, Lok Sabha member from Amlapuram in coastal Andhra Pradesh, told newsmen in Rajahmundry that if the government tables a bill in the parliament for categorisation of SCs, he would resign.

The MP also challenged state Congress president D. Srinivas to suspend him from the party for opposing categorisation of SCs.

Madigas, a major sub-caste under SCs, have long been demanding categorisation of SCs into A, B, C, D for sharing reservation benefits. They argue that Malas, another sub-caste, was cornering all reservation benefits. Malas were opposing the demand for categorisation.

Both sub-castes were mounting pressure on the Congress government. Besides Harsha Kumar, some state legislators belonging to Malas have threatened to quit as Madigas have intensified lobbying for central legislation to divide SCs into various categories.

Harsha Kumar opined that the solution to the problem of categorisation lies in bifurcation of the state. “There will be no demand for categorisation once Telangana gets the status of a separate state,” said the MP.

Madigas are in a majority in Telangana, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad.

The MP came down heavily on Srinivas for stating that Congress was in favour of categorisation to do justice to the Madigas. “If you want to do this (categorisation) first suspend me from the party,” he said.

The MP warned that that categorisation would damage the party’s interests in the ensuing elections.

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