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UCC, delimitation and Muslim quota: Day before swearing-in, TDP flags ‘discussion’ points

TheTelugu Desam Party will ensure that decisions on contentious issues such as delimitation and the Uniform Civil Code are not taken unilaterally, nor would the reservation of any community be taken away, party leader and N Chandrababu Naidu’s son N Lokesh Naidu has told The Indian Express.

Speaking a day before the new government is sworn-in, with TDP as the NDA’s second largest constituent with 16 MPs, Lokesh, speaking about the 4 per cent Muslim reservation in his state, said the community has nothing to worry about.

“TDP has always been and will remain a secular party. No one’s quota would be taken away by us. No one should be worried about that. BJP’s stance that it would remove religion-based quota is if that party comes to power on its own, not when it is a coalition government. I want to assure that the TDP will not withdraw the quota of any community. Chandrababu Naidu has always maintained that socially and economically backward communities, irrespective of religion or caste, should get benefits in order to tackle poverty, and that will continue,” he said.

During campaigning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the Congress tried to extend reservation on the basis of religion and give it to Muslims. Speaking in Rajasthan, he had said that as soon as the Congress formed the government at the Centre in 2004, one of its first tasks was “reducing the SC/ST reservation in Andhra Pradesh” and giving it to Muslims.

“This was a pilot project which the Congress wanted to try in the entire country. Between 2004 and 2010, the Congress tried to implement Muslim reservation in Andhra Pradesh four times but due to legal hurdles and the awareness of the Supreme Court, it could not fulfil its intention… In 2011, the Congress

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