Following the Centre’s decision to give the OBC (Other Backward Classes) status to Jats in nine States, the Akali Dal-BJP government in Punjab has declared Jats and Jat Sikhs as Backward Classes (BC), to enable them to get reservation in government jobs. Jats and Jat Sikhs of Punjab had been left out of the Union Cabinet’s decision because the Punjab government had failed to bring the community in the State BC list.
In the last few days, Captain Amarinder Singh, former Chief Minister and president of the All India Jat Mahasabha, repeatedly urged the Parkash Singh Badal government to bring the Jat Sikhs and Jats of Punjab in the State’s BC list but the latter resisted. Declaring the proud land owning Jat Sikh community of Punjab “socially backward” has been a sticky issue for the Badal government, but it was forced to bite the bullet after it became apparent that Punjab’s Jat Sikhs would be denied the benefit of reservation if they were not included in the BC list.
The Punjab Cabinet has decided that economically- weaker sections from the general category will also get the benefit of reservation. This will be in addition to the existing reservation.