On Friday, Government of Gujarat has announced 10% reservation to Economically Backward Classes of General Category or Upper Caste. Families earning income equal or less than 6 lakh per annum will be benefited by this. This reservation will be applicable in education and government jobs.
The announcement is in the response of the agitation held by the Patidar community under the leadership of Hardik Patel since 2015. The Patidar community of Gujarat state has been demanding for the reservation quota in government policies under Other Backward Class category. The protest by Patidars have turned violent in several occasions and has caused a huge loss to the state. Though the agitation leader has rejected the move considering it as another ‘lollipop’ by the BJP government but Sardar Patel Group (SPG) has welcomed the decision.
Rajasthan is the first state which took decision to provide reservation to the EBC classes of general category but this has been refused by the High Court.
The announcement made by the Gujarat Government will be applicable from 1st May 2016, foundation day of the state. This reservation is in addition to the 49% quota provided to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and does not effect the existing reservation system. This facility is not applicable for SC/ST and OBC Category.
This new quota will exceed the 50% reservation limit defined by the Supreme Court, so there might be chances of legal action to be taken against this move. Currently, Gujarat state has already 48% reservation which includes 7% for SC, 14% for ST and 27% for OBC.
But in case of any Legal srutiny, the government is ready to fight it with the Supreme court as quoted by the state’s BJP chief Vijay Rupani. The decision of providing 10% Reservation for EBC General Category was taken in a core group meeting in the presence of BJP party President was also present.