Khattar govt goofed up Jat issue

Reservation ruckus: Only Jats of Haryana do not come under OBCs

Khattar govt goofed up Jat issue

The Haryana government led by Manohar Lal Khattar appears to have goofed up the sensitive Jat reservation issue owing to the BJP’s fear that violence may spread to adjoining states of Uttar Pradesh and diminish the political mileage that the Centre wanted to gain by exploring Parliament route option to include them in the backward quota.

Only Jats of Haryana do not fall under the OBC category while the community in eight other states, such as of UP, Delhi and Rajasthan, enjoy the reservation benefits.

Top BJP sources said party Jat leaders Chaudhary Birender Singh and Sanjeev Balaiyan were working with community leadership ever since the Supreme Court turned down a review petition on quashing of the UPA government’s move to include the land-owing community in the OBC list.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also met some Jat leaders and assured them that the Centre was keen to find a solution within the constitutional framework on including them in the OBC list.  

Individually, too, the party leaders were interacting with Jat Arakshan Samiti, community representatives Yashpal Malik and Hawa Singh Sangwan and Khap heads Gajender Ahlawat and Baljit Singh to keep them in the loop on the Centre’s initiatives, party sources said.

To give a message that the Centre was serious, the party also got its MP from Pali in Rajasthan, P P Chaudhary, to move a private members bill in the last session of Lok Sabha for covering the Jat community under the affirmative programme.

MoS Baliyan confirmed to Deccan Herald that the Centre was serious about bringing a bill to include Jats in the OBC list to tide over legal restriction enforced by the Supreme Court judgment.

“The controversy surrounding Jat reservation issue is a legacy inherited from the UPA. The previous government did not provide Parliament backing to its decision of including Jats in the OBC list. They acted merely to get political mileage ahead of elections. But our governments at the Centre and state are serious about resolving the matter. One of the options that the Centre was working on was to introduce a bill to bring them under the OBC list,” Baliyan said.

The role of BJP Kurukshetra MP Rajkumar Saini, who is opposed to Jat reservation, in the whole episode is also spelling trouble for the party. The central leadership wants him to apologise for his provocative statements to resolve the matter.

Khattar being a non-Jat leader may be exploited by the opposition to make it a Jat versus non-Jat matter, apprehend party sources.

BJP chief Amit Shah held a meeting with party in-charge of Haryana, Anil Jain, Birender Singh and Baliyan.

The party seeks to contain the agitation from flaring up and spreading to adjoining states of Delhi, Western UP and Rajasthan, where the community members may stand in support of their counterparts in Haryana. 

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