Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) on Thursday defended his government`s proposal to provide up to 12 per cent reservation each in education and jobs to tribals and minorities.
He also announced a waiver of loans availed by farmers.
Replying to a debate in the Telangana Assembly here on the motion of thanks to the Governor`s address, he strongly justified the move and said a commission headed by a retired or sitting judge would be appointed to study the issue of reservation quotas.
He said that these reservations are "100 per cent possible" and the government had decided on it after studying its pros and cons.
Rao said that Tamil Nadu provides the highest reservations at 69 per cent, which exceeds the 50 per cent stipulated by the Constitution, followed by Karnataka.
Noting that Telangana is a "state of weaker sections," he pointed out that backward castes, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, minorities and weaker sections constitute 85 per cent of the newly formed state`s population.
"When it (reservations) has been implemented in Tamil Nadu, why could it not be possible in Telangana," the Chief Minister asked, adding, that the Telangana government would pursue the matter once it gets the commission`s report.
He expressed confidence about implementing the measure with the co-operation of all stakeholders.
He also announced waiver of crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh to each farmer, saying that it would also include those availed by them for agricultural purpose, after pledging gold.
In the reply, the Chief Minister stressed on the need to "reinvent and reorient" Telangana in all fields, including irrigation, power as well as education, and sought to make a strong case for providing Krishna river water to Hyderabad.
"Hyderabad deserves water from the Krishna river because the city itself is in the Krishna basin," he said.
Speaking on the power front, he said he has spoken to his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh to purchase power from that state and the latter is positive about Telangana`s request.
Rao stressed on government-to-government power purchase agreement on a transparent basis.
He also thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi, BJP president and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for their support in creating a separate Telangana state.
He said that it was due to Sonia Gandhi`s initiative that the dream of a separate Telangana state became a reality.
He also thanked 33 parties, including the CPI and the BSP, for supporting the creation of the separate state.