Rajasthan assembly nod for 5 pct quota to Gujjars, 4 other communities
The Rajasthan Assembly Wednesday passed a bill giving a five per cent quota in government jobs and educational institutes to the Gujjars and four other communities agitating for it. The Gujjar protests led by community leader Kirori Singh Bainsla continued in the state for the sixth day even after the bill was passed.
Gujjar protesters have blocked the Delhi-Mumbai railway track in Sawai Madhopur district and several highways since Friday. Traffic is also held up on several roads in the state. Bainsla said the community will wait for more clarity on the bill before calling off the stir.
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, 2019 was introduced by the new Congress government earlier in the day. The bill sought to increase the backward classes' reservation from the present 21 per cent to 26 per cent with a five per cent quota for Gujjars, Banjaras, Gadia Lohars, Raikas and Gadaria communities.
The statement on the objective and reasons for the bill said the five castes are the most backward and required a separate reservation in government jobs and educational institutes. "We will remain on dharna till there is clarity that the bill passed in the assembly is legally sound," Bainsla said.
"It is a sacred document for us and we will take the next decision only after taking the opinion of intellectuals of the community working in different fields," he added. A North Western Railway spokesperson said two trains were cancelled Wednesday due to the dharna.
While introducing the bill, Rajasthan Energy Minister Kalla said the Centre has provided only 27 per cent reservation for the backward classes while their proportion in the population is 52 per cent. Since the population of backward classes in Rajasthan is estimated by the State Backward Classes Commission to be about 52 per cent, the percentage of reservation for them needed to be increased, he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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