Jaipur, March 7
Rajasthan Assembly on Wednesday passed a Bill that provides 1 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to Gujjars, four other castes and six sub-castes grouped under 'Most Backward Classes' despite protests from the Opposition.
The Bill—The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of seats in Educational Institutions in the state and of appointments and posts in services under the state) (Amendment), Bill, 2018—was passed by voice vote amid protests from Opposition Congress, which wants the communities to be given a separate 5 per cent reservation within the existing Other Backward Classes category.
Besides Gujjars, the MBC category includes Banjara, Baldiya, Gardiya, Labana, Gaayari, Gardia-Lohar, Gadoliya, Raika, Goojar, and Raibari.
The amendment would mean that, unlike previously, the communities would not be able to compete for reserved seats meant for backward classes, Rajasthan’s Minister for Social Justice Arun Chaturvedi told the House on Wednesday.
The Bill gives effect to an ordinance passed by the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Rajasthan on December 21, 2017. After its sanction, it would put reservations in the state at 16 per cent for Scheduled Castes, 12 for Scheduled Tribes, 21 for OBC and 1 per cent for the MBC—bringing it to the Supreme Court’s limit of 50 per cent.
The state government brought 11 castes under the Other Backward Classes category in May 2017, five months after the Rajasthan High Court struck down its 5 per cent reservation under the Special Backward Class (SBC) Reservation Act of 2015 saying it exceeded the 50 per cent limit on reservation.
The Supreme Court—while hearing the BJP government’s appeal against the high court’s order—suggested that the MBC castes could be brought under reservation meant for the Other Backward Classes.
Congress stormed the well of the House on Wednesday protesting the Bill. Congress Member of Legislative Assembly Dheeraj Gujjar said called the reservation “lollipop” that the state government was offering to the Gujjar community.
"They will not accept this one percent lollipop anymore. The government should also try to include this 5 per cent quota demand in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, if it wants to raise the 50 per cent limit up to 54 like other states such as Maharashtra,” Dheeraj said.
Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bhainsla on Monday gave the state government 25 days to ensure 5 per cent reservation for the community out of the 21 per cent under the OBC category.
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