Gujjar, Jat leaders spar over panel's job quota report
Public spat over sharing 21 pc set aside for OBCs
The Rajasthan OBC commission’s recommendation of a special quota for the most backward within the Other Backward Classes has triggered a public spat between leaders of Gujjars and Jats, two dominant castes in the state.
Rajasthan Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti has alleged that Jats are consuming almost the entire 21 per cent job quota set aside for the OBC category. And that was the reason that Jat leaders were opposed to the bifurcation of the OBC quota, it said.
“Why is it that leaders of other OBC communities are silent and only Jat leaders are opposing the quota bifurcation?,” spokesman Himmat Singh said.
He said this is because Jats are taking away the entire OBC quota as shown in the recent government- sanctioned survey the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).
Singh reiterated that Gujjars will not accept any quota that goes beyond the overall reservation limit of 50 per cent set by the Supreme Court.
The Samiti will hold a state-level meeting of its leaders under its president Kirori Singh Bainsla in Jaipur on Tuesday to discuss future strategy.
“We demand that the OBC commission's report be cleared by the cabinet and implemented with immediate effect,” Singh said, claiming that the commission has recommended increased quota for Gujjars within the 50 per cent limit.
But Rajasthan Jat Mahasabha president Raja Ram Meel questioned the Gujjar Samiti's statement. He said Gujjars were demanding a bigger quota even though some other communities within OBC were more backward.
The same IDS survey shows that around 25 of 85 OBC communities are far more backward than Gujjars, Meel said said. He asked why should then only Gujjars and four other communities get a bigger quota.
They are already taking double reservation benefit under OBC and Special Backward Classes (SBC) categories, Meel argued.
Meel also stressed that Jats were not the only OBC community opposed to bifurcation of the 21 per cent quota. “Saini, Yadav and every other OBC community is opposed to the bifurcation. We will not allow the OBC bifurcation at any cost,” he said.
“The Gujjars’ initial demand was to get included in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category. Why they have forgotten it after getting 72 of their men killed in the agitations so far,” the Jat Mahasabha president asked.
The Jat Mahasabha, meanwhile, clarified that it was not opposed to the Gujjars’ demand for an increased or separate quota. They can have a separate quotas of any size, but it should be outside the OBC. Within the OBC category no one can have a separate quota, Meel said.