Agartala: The Left Front government in Tripura wants to reserve 10 percent of government jobs for Muslims but is concerned about the legal hurdles, a leader of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said on Sunday.
"The Left Front government wanted amendment of the Indian constitutions to provide 10 percent reservation for Muslims in government jobs," said Tripura Left Front convenor Khagen Das, who is also a member of the Lok Sabha.
Das told reporters that the Supreme Court had ruled that no state could cross 50 percent reservation in government jobs and for other purposes.
Tripura has already 48 percent reservation -- 31 percent for the tribals and 17 percent for the scheduled castes, he said.
Das, also a member of the CPI-M central committee, said that the Left parties have been demanding implementation of the recommendation of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM), also called as Ranganath Misra Commission.
The NCRLM headed by former Chief Justice of India Justice Ranganath Misra, had submitted its report to the government on May 21, 2007 recommending 10 percent quota for Muslims and 5 percent for other minorities in government jobs.
According to the 2001 census, Muslims comprised eight percent of Tripura`s 3.2 million population. Their percentage, according to the 2011 census, is yet to be calculated.
The CPI-M, the dominant partner of the ruling Left Front in Tripura, has announced a two-month-long, state-wide agitation in support of their 14-point demands, that include relaxation of the period for non-tribals to get pattas (title deeds) under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2005.
It wanted same norms for non-tribals and tribals for getting the land titles.
Currently, the law states that tribals living in forest for last 75 years are eligible for the land titles, while the time frame for non-tribals is more.
"We have been demanding that the central act should be modified suitably, and reduce the stipulated years, so that the non-tribals also get the patta along with tribals," Das said.
The Left party, which would launch its agitation on Mar 11, also demanded to the center to announce a special package for the unemployed youths of northeastern region.