Gujarat government has announced 10 per cent quota for Patidar community in government jobs and colleges after it aounced to include them economically backward sections of the society on Friday.
The decision was taken after the state party’s core group met BJP national president Amit Shah. The state government moved fast in taking the decision after recently held civic polls left the party jittery in the state where Assembly election are due next year.
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel announced the move on Friday. The new quota will add to the existing 49.5 per cent reservation for minorities in the state. The reservation limit of 50 per cent set by the apex court will be breached with this decision, but the state government said it is “serious” on the issue and will “fight it” out legally.
“Our core group meeting, headed by national president Amit Shah, has decided to give 10 per cent reservation for economically backward among general category,” said Cabinet Minister in the state Rupani
The new reservation rules will apply for those members with annual income less than Rs. 6 lakh. New reservation as announced by the Gujarat CM will come to effect from May 1.
The reservation announced by the government will be over and above the cap of 50 per cent reservation set by the Supreme Court, and may face legal hurdles. The state government already provides 50 per cent reservation to SC/STs and OBCs.
“We are very serious about this and we will fight it up to the apex court for reservation of economically backward among the general category,” SAID Rupani.
Patidars have been agitating to get reservation in Jobs under the leadership of a 22-year-old Hardik Patel from last one year. Partidar agitations in the state have lead to destruction of public property after the protests turned violent in 2015.
The decision to announce quota for EBC came after Anandiben Patel held two-and-a-half-hour meetings with a committee of ministers led by health minister Nitin Patel where the fresh programmes launched by two Patidar groups Sardar Patel Group (SPG) and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).
The Patidar community groups recently stated a ‘mundan’ programme, where Patel men in north Gujarat villages started getting their heads tonsured in support of their quota cause.
More recently in Patidar agitators organised ‘jail bharo’ agitation in Surat where police arrested thirty nine people after the agitation turned violent. Later, the 39 accused were granted bail on furnishing a bond of Rs 15,000 each.
Recently Haryana government passed a bill giving OBC status to Jat community members after Jat leader protested and damaged valuable public property for delaying reservation.