'Constituencies with sizable Muslim population be de-reserved'

Abdul Ali Azizi who completed his term at the Commission as its member on October 13, suggested that either such constituencies be de-reserved or minority, particularly Muslims, be given benefits accorded to scheduled castes.

"It is surprising and very sad to note that wherever minority population is more than 20-25 per cent, sometimes 30 per cent, these constituencies in Parliament and in the (state) Assembly have been reserved," he told PTI.

"So where from minorities will come forward? How will they get a chance for representation?," he asked, describing it as "one of the serious issues".

He sought that either such constituencies be "kept open" or by an amendment in the Constitution, "minority, particularly Muslims," be considered as scheduled castes and be given benefits accordingly.

Before the amendment in Article 341, Christians and Muslims were in SC and ST categories till 1950. "That should be considered," he suggested.

"By embracing to some other religion or by getting converted into other religion his social status is not converted. Person converts to only his concepts and thought but his socio-economic status or political status remains the same," he contended.

"It's not only about their education and social status but also their political and economic conditions. Their condition is much more miserable than the Dalits of this country," he added.

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