Amarinder writes to PM over quota to Jats, wants it extended to Punjab and other states

Amarinder SinghAmarinder Singh

Describing Centre's move to provide reservation to jats in central government jobs "only" in nine state as "unfair and discriminatory", Punjab Congress leader Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to extend it to Punjab and three other states.

Singh, a former Punjab chief minister and president of the All India Jat Maha Sabha, has also said the reservation should be based on the caste and not on religious basis, as Sikh and Muslim Jats have been excluded from the benefit at several places.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, copies of which were released to the media, Singh said Jats have presence in 13 states in the country.

He demanded that the benefit should also be extended to Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

With an apparent attempt to woo Jats ahead of Lok Sabha polls, the Centre on December 19 took a step forward towards granting them reservation in central government jobs as it asked the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to expeditiously take a call on it.

Considering a proposal of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Union Cabinet held that NCBC should reconsider its earlier decision of 2011 in which it had rejected demands for reservation to the community at the central level.

The Cabinet asked the NCBC to take an early decision on including Jats in the central list of OBCs by which the community members can avail benefits of reservation.

The senior Congress leader said the move is "unfair and discriminatory" and national decisions cannot be applied "selectively". "This is arbitrary and will be viewed as a partisan attitude," he said.

Singh said that no national decision can be made for a part of the community falling within the part of the country.

In this case, he added, Jats be they Hindus, Sikhs or Muslims have been "divided on national basis which is unjust and unfair".

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