Cong leaders opposed quota, apprehended caste war

Though the Haryana government has accepted the recommendations made by Haryana Backward Classes Commission (HBCC) for granting reservation to five castes, several Congress ministers had vehemently opposed "caste-based reservation". The leaders have even raised apprehensions that such a reservation could lead to a "caste war" in the state.

On Wednesday, the Haryana cabinet had accepted HBCC recommendations for granting 10 per cent reservation to Jats, Jat Sikhs, Bishnois, Tyagis and Rors. The HBCC's report (a copy of which is with The Indian Express) comprises letters written by Congress' ministers, opposing reservation status to the five communities.

In a letter to the Commission dated March 30, Power Minister Captain Ajay Yadav stated: "...Jat, Jat Singh, Ror, Bishnoi and Tyagi have become affluent over a period of time. It is feared that benefits of caste-based reservation would be reaped by the aforesaid affluent families at the cost of families in their own caste that are economically backward."

Quoting Yadav's letter, the HBCC's report stated: "He (Yadav), therefore, requested that reservation for the people belonging to these castes be granted on economic basis. He further stated that people in any other castes that are not covered under any reservation, should also be considered for reservation on economic basis."

Similarly, in his letter dated May 14, 2012, former minister Gopal Kanda had stated: "Reservation should not be granted on caste basis, but it should be granted on economic basis or it should be totally abolished."

Quoting his letter, HBCC's report mentioned: "He (Kanda) also expressed the apprehension that looking into the struggle for reservation issue, there was every chance of different castes fighting among themselves leading to domestic war in the country. He next stated that individually he was not in favour of granting reservation to any caste."

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