Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

Khattar govt to bring back Jat quota bill that failed legal test

The decision, which has already failed the legal test once, was taken during a meeting of the BJP legislators on Sunday. It also falls well short of the Jat demand to be included in the OBC category.

The Haryana government has decided to bring a bill in the Vidhan Sabha to give 10 per cent reservation to Jats and four other castes under the Special Backward Class (SBC) category, exactly what the previous Congress government had done, only to have it thrown out by the court.

The decision, which has already failed the legal test once, was taken during a meeting of the BJP legislators on Sunday. It also falls well short of the Jat demand to be included in the OBC category.

Between the Jat reservation issue and the Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal issue raked up by neighbouring Punjab, the Haryana Vidhan Sabha’s budget session beginning Monday is likely to be a stormy.

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On the issue of SYL, all the parties except the Congress, had on Saturday submitted a memorandum to the Governor to stop the passage of the proposed Bill by Punjab to re-vest the land acquired for construction of SYL.

The Khattar government could find itself in a tight spot over the issue of water share for Haryana, with the Punjab Cabinet already having given its consent for the Bill to be tabled in Punjab Assembly on Monday.

The BJP is part of the ruling coalition in Punjab, and supports the bill, although it affects Haryana where it is the ruling party and already under fire for its failure to prevent the Jat agitation in which 30 people died, crores worth of property was ravaged and the State divided along caste lines.

The leaders of Haryana unit of Congress met the Punjab and Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki on Sunday and demanded that President’s rule be imposed in the state. In the memorandum submitted to Solanki, the Congress has stated that he should not read out the Governor’s address that has been written by the failed Haryana government. It was further stated that the Governor read out the address in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha which was against the welfare of people of Haryana. The demand to stop passage of Bill to denotify the acquisition for SYL was also raised.

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Leader of Congress Legislature Party Kiran Choudhry said the issue of SYL canal is being mishandled by the government. She said that the failures of the government on all fronts would be taken up in the Vidhan Sabha session.

“The government has lost its authority to rule. There was a complete failure of law and order in the state for several days with people losing their lives and property [during the Jat agitation]. People are scared. We had passed the resolution in the meeting of the CLP that the government should resign and President’s rule be imposed,” she said.

The Congress had said at Saturday’s all-party meet called by the government for a discussion on the issue of quota for Jats that it was the government’s prerogative touring a Bill and the Opposition’s to present its views in the Vidhan Sabha.

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At Sunday’s two-hour meeting, BJP legislators decided that 10 per cent reservation would be given to Jats, Tyagis, Rors, Bishnois and Jat Sikhs under the SBC category. The 27 percent Other Backward Class (OBC) quota would not be touched.

This is the same category under which the previous Congress government had given reservation to the Jats. The notification was quashed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Supreme Court has meanwhile quashed OBC quota reservation for Jats in central government jobs and educational institutions.

The Jat leaders, meanwhile, have been demanding that they should be given reservation by expanding the 27 percent OBC quota. In a letter to the Chief Minister, the All India Jat Aarakshan Samiti has demanded that the OBC quota could be increased from 27 to 30 percent.

There have been divisions within the BJP over the issue with there being a lack of consensus among its ministers and MLAs over the issue.

INLD president Ashok Arora said that the failures of the government would be taken up in the Vidhan Sabha. “We have made it clear in the meeting on Saturday that it is the government which has to bring the Bill on Jat reservation in the Assembly. Our party will give its opinion on the issue there. The hike in power tariff, non-implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, employment allowance not being given are some of the issues that would be raised in the Assembly. Further, the government also needs to announce some compensation for the farmers whose crops have been damaged due to adverse ,” said Arora.

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The INLD is demanding that the BJP and Congress which are national parties should clarify their stand on the issue of SYL.

First published on: 14-03-2016 at 05:21:42 am
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