Haryana Cabinet clears Jat reservation bill

SansadTV Bureau
Fire Engine at Rohtak post Jats protest. Photo-PTI

File photo of a fire engine in Rohtak during the Jats protests.

On Monday, the Haryana cabinet cleared a bill to provide reservation to Jats in government jobs and education, paving the way for tabling of the proposed legislation in the Assembly before March 31. The Jats had threatened to restart their agitation if their demand wasn’t met by the April 3 deadline.

Last month, the Jat protests had turned violent and more than 30 people reportedly died during the protests.

The draft bill providing reservation to Jats and four other castes was cleared at a Cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Chandigarh, official sources said.

The bill is likely to be tabled in the ongoing budget session of the state Assembly, which is scheduled to continue till March 31.

The BJP government had assured that it would bring the bill in the ongoing Budget session. Jat leaders had announced that no protest would be held till April 3 if the state government got the bill passed before that.

The bill proposes reservation for Jats and four other castes – Jat Sikhs, Rors, Bishnois and Tyagis – by creating a new classification in the Backward Classes category, sources said.

The government plans to provide 10 per cent reservation in educational institutions and Class-III and IV government jobs for these communities. The bill also proposes 6 per cent reservation for Jats and the four other castes in Class-I and Class-II jobs, sources said.

Apart from giving reservation to Jats, Haryana government has also proposed to bring a separate bill for the setting up of a permanent Haryana Backward Classes Commission.

Jat leaders have been demanding reservation in the existing Backward Classes (BC) category.

The BC quota is bifurcated into two — BC-A and BC-B — having 16 and 11 per cent reservation, respectively.

Jats had last month launched a stir demanding reservation in BC category. The agitation, which had taken a violent turn, left 30 people dead and 320 persons injured and resulted in huge damage to property.

Jat leaders have told the government that in case the reservation breaches the overall 50 per cent ceiling, then the government should include the proposed legislation in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution to save it from judicial review.

“We want that whatever Bill is tabled should be legally tenable,” All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti President Yashpal Malik had said.

(With inputs from PTI)