NDA defends UPA-II's Jat reservation decision

 The NDA government has defended before the Supreme Court the UPA-II decision to include Jats in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBC) category in eight states and Delhi, discarding the suggestion that the move was aimed at gaining political mileage on the eve of the general elections.

The UPA-II government had issued notification on March 4, giving the benefit of reservation to Jats. This was seen as a major poll gambit since the community had a strong base in western UP and its bordering areas of Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan.

The Jat community was included in the list for Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan (the two districts of Bharatpur and Dholpur), Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The move has now got the stamp of approval from the Narendra Modi government. “As regards averments that the Central government with a motive to gain benefit for the ruling political parties in the forthcoming general elections issued the said notification, this fact is denied as unfounded,” said the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, adding, “The Central government has acted bona fide and in public interest.”

The government’ stand was disclosed in an affidavit in response to PILs contending that the National Commission for Backward Classes had recommended against including Jats in the OBC category.

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