The Andhra Pradesh assembly on Saturday unanimously passed a legislation to provide five percent
reservation for the Kapu community in government jobs and educational institutions.
Meeting a long-pending demand of Kapus, the government has included the community in the backward
classes by creating a separate category ‘F’.
In the absence of only opposition party YSR Congress, which is boycotting the session, leaders of
ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and its coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) participated in
the debate on the bill.
Backward Classes Welfare Minister K. Atchan Naidu tabled the bill. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and
other members spoke on the bill. It was later passed unanimously with a voice vote.
Naidu said his government had fulfilled a promise made to Kapus in 2014 elections. He assured the House
that steps will be taken to ensure that the benefits of development and welfare schemes reached Kapus.
The state cabinet had earlier accepted recommendations of the Manjunatha Committee, which examined the
demand of Kapus and suggested earmarking five percent for them.
Set up by the government last year, the committee studied the socio-economic conditions of Kapus across
the state and submitted its report to the government.
As this legislation will take the overall quantum of reservation in the state to over 50 percent, the
cap fixed by the Supreme Court, the state government will request the Centre to amend the Constitution
and include the legislation in Schedule IX to insulate it from any court ruling.
The existing reservation for various castes is 50 percent. It is 25 percent for backward classes, 15
percent for Scheduled Castes, six percent for Scheduled Tribes and four percent for minorities.
The bill was passed at a time when YSR Congress Party is boycotting the legislative session to protest
lack of action by the speaker to disqualify its legislators who crossed over to TDP during last three
Political observers say the move by the TDP will effectively counter YSR Congress chief Y. S.
Jaganmohan Reddy, who is currently on a state-wide ‘padayatra’ and criticising the ruling party for
failing to fulfill its poll promise.
This is also expected to silence Kapu Sangham leader Mudragada Padmanabham, who was on warpath over the issue
. The protest called by the organisation early this year had led to large-scale violence in Tuni
town with protestors setting afire a train, severalvehicles and two police stations.
The TDP has also denied actor Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena from making Kapu reservation a major issue in
the run up to the elections. Pawan Kalyan belongs to Kapu community.