Vanniyars are the backward among the Most Backward Communities, Ramadoss tells Madras HC

The PMK leader justified the 10.5% internal reservation given to them within the 20% meant for MBCs

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S. Ramadoss has told Madras High Court that Vanniakula Kshatriyas are the most backward among the Most Backward Communities (MBCs) and therefore, the State legislature had provided 10.5% internal reservation in education and government employment, to help them rise from the depth of backwardness.

He had made the submission in a counter affidavit, filed through his counsel K. Balu, to a batch of cases filed in the court challenging the constitutionality of a law passed by the State legislature, just hours before the model code of conduct came into force in February this year, providing internal reservation within the 20% meant for MBCs.

Claiming to have been fighting for the cause since the 1980s, the party leader said it was due to his consistent efforts that the Vanniakula Khastriya (including Vanniar, Vanniya, Vannia Gounder, Gounder or Kander, Padayachi, Palli and Agnikula Kshatriya) communities were now able to seize the opportunities of reservation commensurate to their population. He contended that the Vanniyakula Khastriyas were unable to reap the benefits of reservation all along because they could not compete with other communities falling within the much larger 50% reservation meant for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) or even within the smaller 20% reservation meant for MBCs and Denotified Communities (DNCs).

Mr. Ramadoss said the writ petitioners before the court could not attribute malice or mala fide either to the legislature or the legislative functions of the State just because the law providing 10.5% internal reservation to Vanniakula Kshatriyas was passed on the eve of the Assembly elections held this year.

“The very fact that the present successor government in office (led by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) has issued Government orders to implement the provisions of the Special Act 8 of 2021 passed by the previous government (led by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) proves that there is no political motive in enacting the impugned Act 8 of 2021.

“Hence, the allegation of the petitioners that the said 10.5% reservation to Vanniyakula Kshatriya communities has been made by the previous government for political gains on the eve of the upcoming general elections to the State Assembly is nothing but the product of wild imagination and baseless assumption,” his counter affidavit read.

The PMK leader argued that a law could be challenged only on the grounds of legislative competence or alleged violation of fundamental rights. The present petitioners could not succeed on either of the grounds since the State legislature was fully competent to pass the law and there was no violation of any fundamental right due to the enactment, he asserted.

Rebutting the petitioners’ contention that the law had been passed hastily without waiting for Justice A. Kulasekaran committee report, Mr. Ramadoss said, that committee was constituted to examine whether overall reservation of 69% required any modifications and not to examine the issue of internal reservations for Vanniakula Kshatriyas.

He also said that the law had been passed only after taking into consideration a report submitted by Ambasankar Commission in 1985 and the subsequent recommendations made by the chairpersons of the State Backward Classes Commission in 2012 as well as in 2021 in support of internal reservation for Vanniakula Kshatriyas.

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