New Delhi: Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh Wednesday told a group of Muslim MPs that a broad
national consensus would be built on the issue of reservations
before the government took any step but assured that it remained
committed to the issues and concerns of the community.
"There will be a
necessity to work towards an agreement on the issue of reservations.
If it happens it will be modelled on the Karnataka pattern,"
official sources said after the meeting.
According to E.T.
Mohammed Basheer, a Muslim League MP, most Muslims are included in
the reservations for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in Karnataka
through different categories.
The meeting comes
in the backdrop of the Ranganath Misra Commission report that was
tabled in parliament last week recommending reservations for Dalit
Muslims and Christians in the Scheduled Castes category.
The report said
reservations be given on the basis of socio-economic backwardness
and not religion or caste. The Misra report has also said that SC
status should be delinked from religion and the SC net be made
the group led by K. Rahman Khan, the deputy chairman of the Rajya
Sabha, the prime minister assured the group that he would take up
the issue of a separate standing committee in parliament for
minority affairs with the speaker and the chairman of the Rajya
Sabha in consultation with the parliamentary affairs minister.
He also assured
the delegation that the Waqf Bill will be tabled in parliament in
the budget session that begins in February.
On the issue of
increase in credit flows to the minorities, particularly Muslims,
and the proposal for introducing Islamic Banking in India, Manmohan
Singh indicated that he would discuss this with the finance
Other members of
the all-party delegation included Mohsina Kidwai, Ijaz Ali, Ahmad
Saeed Malihabadi, Mohammed Shafi, Tariq Anwar, Sabir Ali, Mohammed
Adeeb, E. Ahamed, Asaduddin Owaisi and Shafiqur Rahman Baig.