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Amidst violent protests, Rajasthan Assembly passes bill granting 5% quota to Gujjars

File photo. Photograph:( DNA )

PTI Jaipur, Rajasthan, India Feb 13, 2019, 07.03 PM (IST)

The Rajasthan Assembly on February 13 passed a bill granting 5 percent reservation to Gujjars and four other communities in jobs and educational institutions.

The government had introduced the Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutes in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) Amendment Bill, 2019, in the Assembly for giving reservation to Gujjars and the other castes.

The bill was presented in the Rajasthan Assembly by Energy Minister B D Kalla to pacify members of the Gujjar community who have been holding demonstrations since February 8 across the state for quota. They had blocked the Delhi-Mumbai railway track and several highways and roads.

The bill seeks to increase the backward classes' reservation from the present 21 percent to 26 percent with five percent reservation to Gujjars, Banjaras, Gadia Lohars, Raikas and Gadaria.

The statement on the objective and reasons of the bill stated that the five castes are most backward and require five percent separate reservation. It also mentions that the central government recently passed the constitution amendment bill to extend reservation to the EWS section among upper castes and that breached the limit of 50 percent reservation earmarked by the Supreme Court.

Gujjar leaders had earlier indicated that they will only call off their protest if they see a "concrete proposal" from the government, implying that they wanted the bill to be passed first.

Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla and his supporters had blocked the railway tracks in Sawai Madhopur district and several highways, demanding the quota in government jobs and educational institutes.

Story highlights

The bill seeks to increase the backward classes' reservation from the present 21 percent to 26 percent with five percent reservation to Gujjars, Banjaras, Gadia Lohars, Raikas and Gadaria.