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Jat reservation stir: The complete issue at a glance!

The Jat Quota Stir On Sunday Burned Delhi And Uttar Pradesh After Haryana Forcing Violence And Damaging Properties Worth Crores. Protestors Blocked Rail Tracks Throwing Railways In A Loss Of More Than Rs 100 Crores.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Devika Chhibber | Updated on: 21 Feb 2016, 08:59:05 AM

New Delhi :

The Jat quota stir on Sunday burned Delhi and Uttar Pradesh after Haryana forcing violence and damaging properties worth crores. Protestors blocked rail tracks throwing Railways in a loss of more than Rs 100 crores.

Caste angle has been majorly responsible for the quota stir. Turning the pages of history one may know that Jats were in power in Haryana for the last 20 years but things changed after came to power in 2014.

A state where always a Jat leader was named the Chief Minister for the first time in 20 years saw a Punjabi CM.

The thought gave the Jats in the state a feel of insecurity and side-lining.

Jats demand for more reservation has also perturbed other backward classes (OBCs) who feel that they will lose out on the ratio if Jats get more reservation.

BJP's MP Rajkumar Saini statements, who belongs to the OBC category, has been adding fuel to fire.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has failed miserably in sorting out the issue by promising inclusion of Jats in economically backward persons (EPB) quota for general castes and increase in quota from 10 percent to 20 percent.

The issue

The community has been demanding reservation in jobs and educational institutions in the state but when they were turned down by Punjab and Haryana High Court, the planning for agitation worsened.

The High Court has stayed the decision of the Haryana government on July 27 2015 to grant 10 per cent reservation to Jats and four other castes-Jat Sikh, Ror, Tyagi and Bishnoi under the Special backward Caste category (SBC).

Earlier, the Supreme Court also quashed the former Congress led UPA government's decision on March 17, 2015 to provide reservation to Jats under other backward classes (OBC) category of the central government.

BJP’s reaction

BJP supported the quota row but the OBCs were strictly against it under the leadership of MP Rajkumar Saini who has been giving anti-reservation statements for the last one year. Khattar has so far disowned Rajkumar Saini's statements but in vain.

UPA’s stroke

It was UPA that included  Jats in the Centre's OBC list during the final year of its power in 2014 in a glimpse of electoral politics. This came at a point when the demand was rejected by National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), however, UPA government overruled it and gave reservation to the Jats in several states including Haryana, Himachal Praadesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda led Congress government in Haryana re-constituted the Haryana Backward Classes Commission (HBCC) to study the reservation demand and recommended 10 per cent reservation for the five castes under the Special Backward Caste (SBC) category.

The study was implemented thus shooting up the reservation for Jats which constitute 26 per cent of the total electorate and others.

Interestingly, this exceeded the quota limit. In Haryana:

  • Scheduled Castes- 20 percent
  • Backward Classes- 27 percent
  • SBC- 10 percent
  • Economically backward persons (EBP) for general caste- 10 percent

This means that the total reservation in state stood at 67 per cent, much above the 50 per cent limit set by the Supreme Court of India.

What next?

Jats constitute 26 per cent of Haryana's electorate and are demanding reservation back for them. They form the single most powerful and politically influential community. Significantly, out of 90 assembly seats in Haryana about one third or 30 seats are formed by Jats and Jat Sikhs. Without their support no government can survive in Haryana thus concerning the ruling BJP of a political fallout in the state.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has announced to bring special BC quota Bill for Jats and four other castes in the forthcoming Budget session of the Assembly which will not withstand judicial scrutiny because again the government will have to cross the 50 per cent quota limit which the courts will not allow.

Meanwhile, the government has appealed to the agitators to withdraw stir but to no avail.

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First Published : 21 Feb 2016, 08:56:00 AM

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