Rajasthan Assembly passes bill to provide 5% quota to Gujjars, 10% to upper caste poor

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New Delhi | Published: February 13, 2019 4:40:01 PM

Gujjars have defended their stance saying the 10 percent reservation alloted by the Centre also exceeds the legal 50 percent reservation limit. As the reservations will need amendments in the Constitution, the state government has turned the tables on Centre's court as it tabled the bills today.

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The Rajasthan Assembly today has successfully cleared the bills on the Gujjar community’s demand for an additional 4 per cent quota and 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections that was approved by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha recently.

The decision comes as the protest by Gujjars for 5 percent reservation entered its sixth day, with protestors blocking railway tracks as well as roads.

As the protests continued, the Rajasthan government held meetings throughout Tuesday at the state secretariat discussing the reservation issue with ministers and Congress leaders.

Though the topic of the meeting was not briefed officially, some Congress legislators hinted that the government could announce a proposal in the state assembly this Wednesday, seeking to break the stalemate on the quota stir.

Gujjar leader Kirori Bainsla along with his supporters started an indefinite sit-in on railway tracks in Malarna Dungar of Sawai Madhopur on Friday.

Currently, the Gujjar community in Rajasthan holds one percent reservation under the Most Backward Classes (MBC) section which comes within the 50 percent legal limit. Their demand for separate five percent reservation for the Gujjar community was quashed by the Rajasthan High Court in 2017, prompting the state government to move to the Supreme Court against the HC order.

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Gujjars have defended their stance saying the 10 percent reservation alloted by the Centre also exceeds the legal 50 percent reservation limit. As the reservations will need amendments in the Constitution, the state government has turned the tables on Centre’s court as it tabled the bills today.

Protests disrupt the daily life of the common man

The protesters blocked rail tracks and highways, causing inconvenience to the common citizenry. Yesterday, the agitators blocked Chaksu town. They also blocked Dausa’s Agra-Jaipur-Bikaner National Highway-11, state highway in Nainwa in Bundi district, Sawai Madhopur’s Malarna road as well as the Karauli-Hindaun road in Karauli district.

A Congress legislator from Gujarat, Himmat Patel, also met Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla at the protest site on Malarna Dungar rail track to express his party’s commitment in resolving the issues. Despite being urged by the Congress leaders, the Gujjar leaders refused to stop the blockade from tracks and roads.

Bainsla, the Gujjar leader has demanded five percent reservation for the Gujjar, Gadia Lohar, Raika-Rebari, Gadaria and Banjara communities, and has refused to budge from the tracks until the demand is met via an official announcement by the government.

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