Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday Muslims be given reservation in government in government jobs and state-funded education institutions, responding after Maharashtra passed a bill proposing 16 per cent quota for Marathas.
"I have consistently argued that there are backward castes in Muslims who have lived for generations in a cycle of poverty. Reservation is a tool that will break this cycle," said Owaisi, chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
AIMIM legislator from Maharashtra Imtiaz Jaleel accused the BJP-led government of being "indifferent" about Muslims.
"The state government has shown an indifferent attitude towards the Muslims by completely ignoring their valid demands for 5 per cent reservation in education which was endorsed even by the High Court," Jaleel said.
He said the "hurriedly" passed Bill for reservation to Marathas mentions the backwardness of the community on the basis of findings by a government-appointed commission. "Going by the same logic, the plight of Muslims who have been regarded as socially, educationally and economically backward by three commissions - the Sachhar Commission, the Ranganath Mishra Commission and the Mehmood Rehman commission - should also have been given the same benefits as those being given to Marathas," he said.
"But irrespective of which party is in power nobody cares for the welfare and upliftment of minorities," Jaleel claimed.
He said the previous Congress-NCP government "cheated" the community by not giving them reservations while in power for 15 years and now the BJP-Shiv Sena administration is ignoring the community's legitimate demands which is "highly condemnable".