Move to extend facility only to nine States is “unfair and discriminatory,” says former CM

Describing the Centre’s move to provide reservation to Jats in Central government jobs only in nine States as “unfair and discriminatory,” Punjab Congress leader Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking him to extend it to Punjab and three other States.

Captain Amarinder Singh, former Punjab Chief Minister and president of the All-India Jat Maha Sabha, has said reservation should be based on caste and not religion as Sikh and Muslim Jats have been excluded from the benefit at several places.

In his letter to Dr. Singh, copies of which were released to the media here on Sunday, Captain Amarinder Singh said Jats had presence in 13 States.

He demanded that the benefit should also be extended to Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha poll, the Centre on December 19 took a step forward towards granting Jats reservation in Central government jobs as it asked the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to expeditiously take a call on it.

Considering a proposal of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Union Cabinet held that the NCBC should reconsider its 2011 decision in which it had rejected demands for reservation to the community at the Central level.

The Cabinet asked the NCBC to take an early decision on including Jats in the Central list of OBCs by which the community members could avail themselves of the quota benefits.

The senior Congress leader said the move was “unfair and discriminatory” and national decisions could not be applied “selectively.” “This is arbitrary and will be viewed as a partisan attitude,” he said.