House passes quota bill for BC Christians, Muslims

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Chennai, Oct 22 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu Assembly today passed a bill, providing reservation of 3.5 per cent each for the backward class Christian and Muslim minorities in the state in education and employment.

The bill, passed unanimously in the absence of the main opposition, the AIADMK and its ally the Marumalarchi DMK (MDMK), seeks to replace the ordinance, promulgated by the government on September 15, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Dravidian stalwart and late Chief Minister C N Annadurai.

This separate quota of seven per cent for the minorities would be carved out of the existing 30 per cent reservation presently enjoyed by the Backward Classes in the state.

The state has a high overall reservation of 69 per cent, comprising 30 per cent for Backward Classes, 20 per cent for Most Backward Classes (MBCs) and denotified communities (DCs), 18 per cent for Scheduled Castes and one per cent for Scheduled Tribes.

By providing the reservation, the DMK has fulfilled yet another of its poll promises made in the run-up to the May 2006 assembly elections.

Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, hailed the passing of the bill, describing today as the ''golden letter day'' in the history of the assembly. He said ''this is a basis for many more victories in social justice.'' The bill is called Tamil Nadu Backward Class Christians and Backward Class Muslims (Reservation of seats in educational institutions, including private educational institutions and of appointment or posts in the services under the state) Act, 2007.

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