Hardik Patel, convener of 'Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti
Hardik Patel, convener of 'Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti

Ahmedabad

A Gujarat High Court order has restored reservation norms practised in the state prior to August 2018. The order has also cleared roads for the announcement of competitive exams results that were put on hold.

On Tuesday, the HC set aside the state resolution dated 1.8.2018, that read “any female candidate belonging to any reserved category, if selected on her own merit, would be treated as a general candidate. However, such a female candidate would be treated as female representative of the reserved category, for the purpose of Horizontal Reservation.”

While quashing the resolution, the court concluded, “All women irrespective whe­ther they do or do not belong to the reserved category are entitled to compete post earmarked in favour of women under the General category.”

Post this order, the state government has swung into action to prepare results of competitive exams held by the Gujarat Public Service Commission. A meeting was chaired on Wednesday by K Kailashnathan, Chief Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, said sources.

The move has sparked fresh debate on the state’s policy and strategy on reservation. The Congress’s working president and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader Hardik Patel has alleged the HC order has exposed the state government’s divide and rule strategy.

He alleged with the 2018 GR, the state government was trying to please the upper caste women aspiring candidates, but it had backfired, after women aspiring candidates from reserved category notonly launched agitation against the GR but even challenged it in the HCt.

He believes in equal rights to women in society and he has been advocating for 50% quota for women in government jobs. He has demanded as campus placements are held by the corporates houses in professional institutes like IITs and IIMs, the govt should make it man­datory for all companies to offer campus placement and hire youths from comme­r­ce, science and general stream.

The women aspiring candidates from reserved categories might be happy with the HC order, but leaders of Bahujan Anamat Andolan Samiti, the organisation behind the movement are keeping their fingers crossed. One of the leaders, Virsang Chaudhary, said, “ We will wait till the new selection results are declared, as we are not sure how the state will interpret the HC order.”

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