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R'than Jats sulk over cabinet rejig

P J Joychen Jaipur, Oct 30, 2012, DHNS 1:06 IST
Jats leaders in Rajasthan feel a bit down by the reshuffle at the Centre – and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party is seeing this as an opportune moment to rub salt in their wounds.

No Jat leader from the state has made it to the Union cabinet and only one has got a minister of state berth, while the numerically weak Brahmins and Rajputs get away with the bulk of the posts.

Out of the three cabinet berths from the state, two are with Brahmins – C P Joshi and Anand Sharma. Two ministers – cabinet-ranked Chandresh Kumari Katoch and minister of state Jitendra Singh – are from the Rajput community. Gujjars, Jats and Meena get one seat each in ministers of state Sachin Pilot, Lalchand Kataria and Namo Narain Meena.

Jats are a politically strong Other Backward Classes group with about 15 per cent of the votes in the state.

Jat leaders have already expressed their discontent over the alleged neglect of the community. And BJP is trying its hardest to turn the situation into an opportunity to woo Jats to its fold. It is expressing sympathy with the community, alleging that it is part of the Congress strategy to make them politically weak in the state.

BJP state chief Arun Chaturvedi said: “Congress has back-stabbed the Jat community by not giving their leaders any space in the Union cabinet. This is the real face of Congress that claims to be a pioneer of social engineering in India.”

Senior BJP leaders accused the Congress of suppressing Jat politics in the state. “The Congress in this tenure has always worked towards suppressing Jat leaders politically.
They don’t want the Jats to grow politically in the state,” Digambar Singh, a BJP leader from the Jat community said.

They also took potshots at the promotion of some tainted ministers. Chaturvedi said none of the controversial ministers has been dropped in the reshuffle.

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