Jaipur: Five castes including Gurjars will get one per cent reservation within the 50 per cent legal limit in Rajasthan, a senior minister said here today.
The state government took the decision yesterday to provide reservation to the Gujjar/Gurjar, Banjara/Baldia/Labana, Gadia-Lohar/Gadalia, Raika/Rebari and Gadaria communities. “The decision was taken to give one per cent reservation to Gurjars and other castes under the most backward category,” said state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore.
A notification will be issued after the governor’s approval, he said. The present overall reservation percentage in the state stands at 49 per cent. The five castes were included in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) list in 1994. After the state cabinet’s decision, they can now seek benefits in educational institutions and job opportunities.
The Rajasthan Assembly had in October this year passed a bill to raise OBC reservation from 21 to 26 per cent to provide five per cent quota to Gurjars and other castes. However, the high court stayed the bill as it would have increased the reservation to 54 per cent. Later, the Supreme Court also directed the state government not to exceed the 50 per cent reservation limit.
The government’s decision evoked mixed reactions from community leaders. Spokesperson of the Gurjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti Himmat Singh said the government betrayed the community. “We were always promised five per cent reservation by the government. This one per cent could have been granted earlier,” Singh said.
Another Gurjar leader, Dr Roop Singh, said the decision deserved praise but the main demand of including the community in the Scheduled Tribe category remained unaddressed.