Hyderabad: Curiously, there is every likelyhood of the forward community ‘Reddys’ of Rayalaseema finding a place in the BCs list if one goes by the efforts of minister C. Ramachandraiah who revived the demand for inclusion of Kapu, Balija, Telaga and Vontari castes in the Backward Classes list.
It is a custom adopted since ages, and only in four districts of the Rayalaseema region. The Reddy community will only enroll their caste name as ‘Kapu’ instead of Reddy as they perceive Reddy is a village head post and not the caste name.
Vakulabharanam Krishnamohan Rao, the former member of the BC commission, a statutory body empowered to deal with both the inclusion and deletion of BCs in the official list, said, “When the demand of Kapus for inclusion in BCs came up during late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy’s regime, we raised the issue of Rayalaseema Reddy’s possible inclusion in BCs due to their official identification as Kapus. He simply laughed at this.”
Right from former president Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy to the present CM Kiran Kumar Reddy, many Reddys are “officially” Kapus if one goes by their caste certificates.
“Ours is a caste, based on agriculture. Unless a legal way out is found, Reddys of Rayalaseema may be considered BCs if the Kapu caste is included in the BCs list,” former minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy said.
While admitting that there was going to be a systematic and scientific study by way of a reputed agency to go into the merits of the demand (for inclusion of Kapus) and the justification, no caste will be included in BCs,” Mr Vakulabharanam said. “We may have to find a way out to delete the Reddys of Rayalaseema. Otherwise, they may be considered as BCs,” he said.
When contacted, endowment minister C. Ramachandraiah said there will be a solution for every problem. The ‘Rayalaseema Reddy’ issue can also be tackled legally.
For example, the BC commission may say only Balijas from Rayalaseema, Nellore and parts of Prakasam should be recognised as BCs. Similarly, the Telaga caste from Guntur and Krishna, and the Kapus from East and West Godavari districts alone can be considered as BCs and not Kapus from Rayalaseema.
Meanwhile, BC organisations are opposing inclusion of forward communities like Kapus, Balija, Telaga and Vontari castes, fearing their existing BC quota of 29 per cent for jobs and admissions into educational institutions being affected on account of this.
“Unless the government is going to increase the BC quota percentage along with the Kapus’ inclusion, all the BC organisations will vehemently oppose and agitate about any fresh inclusion in BCs list,” said R. Krishnaiah, president, BC Sangham.
The fact remains the state government cannot increase the existing BC quota as the entire reservations for all sections like SCs, STs and BCs already touched the 50 per cent mark, the outer limit fixed by the Supreme Court.