The Raje government is all set to provide 1% reservation in government jobs to Gujjar and four other backward communities in Rajasthan this month.
The state government plan comes after its three previous attempts to provide 5% reservation to Gujjars were turned down by the Rajasthan high court, as the quota crossed the 50% cap put by the Supreme Court.
The proposed 1% quota will take the total reservation percentage in Rajasthan to 50%.
“This is the only legal way possible to provide reservation to the five communities — Gujjar, Rebari, Banjara, Gadariya and Gadariya Luhar. The 1% quota will be given under ‘More Backward Classes’ category, for which the bill was passed in assembly in October 2017 – The Rajasthan Backward Classes (reservation of seats in educational institutes in the state and of appointment and posts in services under the state),” said a senior leader in the government, who does not want to be named. “There is no need to bring any amendment in law, as the 1% increase will not violate Supreme Court order,” he added. “Such situation is not occurring for the first time, as earlier also there had been 1% quota. At present, legal aspects are being checked and soon a notification will be issued,” he further added.
Social justice and empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi said, “The government is looking into statutory aspects and will provide reservation to Gujjar and other four communities adhering to the Supreme Court guidelines.”
Reacting over the plan, Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti spokesperson Himmat Singh said, “BJP government is anti-reservation government and has come to power making false promises. Since 2003 to 2017, BJP has done nothing.”
He said the government should have given 1% reservation earlier. “What were they waiting for?” he asked. The Gujjar leader said that had the government given the quota on time, the community youth would have benefitted.
The 1% quota was given by previous Ashok Gehlot government in 2010. “We had demanded 5% quota under the Scheduled Tribes category in 2008. Since then, many formulae have been brought under Special Backward and Other Backward categories. Every time they claimed they were committed to giving reservation, but nothing happened. They do not intend to provide reservation,” he alleged. “We had conveyed that the community will protest against BJP in the coming by-polls on Ajmer and Alwar parliamentary and Mandalgarh assembly seats.”