Rajasthan govt. grants quota for Gujjars

OBC reservation to be raised by 5%

August 18, 2017 09:26 pm | Updated 09:27 pm IST - JAIPUR

A file photo of Gujjar community members during an agitation for reservation in Bharatpur district.

A file photo of Gujjar community members during an agitation for reservation in Bharatpur district.

Bowing to pressure from the Gujjar community, the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Rajasthan has decided to increase reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) from the present 21% to 26%. A Bill to this effect will be tabled in the upcoming monsoon session of the State Assembly.

A Cabinet sub-committee led by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Arun Chaturvedi assured the Gujjar leaders during marathon talks late on Thursday night that the revised OBC quota would be split to grant 5% reservation to the “Most Backward Classes”. The new category will include Gujjars and four other castes — Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadaria.

Above SC-mandated cap

The decision will take the total reservation in the State to 54%, going beyond the Supreme Court mandated 50% cap.

The BJP government intends to make the legislation strong enough to withstand judicial scrutiny by providing reservation in proportion to the increase in the OBC population.

The State government had earlier tried thrice to grant 5% reservation to Gujjars and four other castes. However, the legislation was struck down every time by the Rajasthan High Court, which ruled that the quota had not only exceeded the 50% limit, but was also not supported by the quantifiable data supporting the claim of Gujjars’ backwardness.

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