New Delhi: Amid a huge protest by gujjars, which has paralysed road and rail traffic since last week, the Congress government in Rajasthan passed a bill granting 5 per cent reservation for the community and four other communities in jobs and education. The four other communities are: banjara/baldia/labana, gadia-lohar/gadalia, raika/rebari and gadaria.
Rajasthan has already touched the 50 per cent ceiling on reservation placed by the Supreme Court. Deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot said the next step is to approach the Central government for an amendment in the Constitution, to make its implementation possible.
He said, “We will pass this bill and send it to the Centre, so they can pass it with a Constitutional amendment like they have done in the 10 per cent quota case. We will go meet (BJP chief) Amit Shah when he comes to Jaipur, to ask him to have this passed.”
The gujjars comprise around 5 per cent of Rajasthan's population and have been demanding an extra 5 per cent quota for the community, even after being covered under the quota for other backward classes.
The gujjar agitation flared up soon after the Centre had passed the bill that provided for 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education for the economically weaker sections in the general category, pointing out that the Congress had promised five per cent reservation to them.
Pilot said, “We know that five per cent reservation has been overturned in the past. But now the circumstances are different. The Centre has just crossed the 50 per cent limit. The path has been cleared.”
In a line of the Rajasthan Backward Classes Bill, the Congress added that since the Centre has given 10 per cent reservation to the “economically weaker section” sections in the general category, the Rajasthan government proposes 5 per cent quota for the most backward castes, which would include gujjars and four other nomadic tribes.