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BJP today staged protests in Hyderabad and elsewhere in Telangana against the passage of a bill by the state legislature increasing reservations for backward sections of Muslim community. All five BJP MLAs -- G Kishan Reddy, K Laxman, NVSS Prabhakar, Ch Ramachandra Reddy and T Raja Singh -- were suspended from the Assembly during the special session today. BJP had opposed the bill, calling it anti-Constitutional as it sought to increase a religion-based quota. Wearing black scarves, the MLAs walked to the Assembly from the Ambedkar statue near Hussain Sagar lake before the House proceedings began today. They shouted slogans in support of increasing quotas for Scheduled Tribes (also provided in the bill) but opposing reservations for Muslims. After their suspension from the House, the BJP MLAs tried to stage a protest at the Gandhi statue on the Assembly premises, but police removed them from there, said BJP spokesperson Prakash Reddy. BJP workers who had planned to march to the Assembly were detained in various parts of the city, he claimed. In Karimnagar, about a hundred BJP protesters were detained by the police. Under the bill, passed by both houses of the state legislature, quota for STs will be increased to 10 per cent from the existing 6 per cent, while that for BC-E category (backward sections of Muslims) will go up to 12 per cent from the existing 4 per cent.
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