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Rajasthan Jats begin indefinite protest seeking OBC quota at Central level

The BJP government in Rajasthan responded with the deployment of a large police force at the protest site.

Screenshot 2024 01 18 090442The Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur have again initiated an agitation demanding reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) at the Central level. The protest by hundreds of Jats began an indefinite dharna at Jaicholi village on Wednesday.

The BJP government in Rajasthan responded with the deployment of a large police force at the protest site. The demand for OBC reservation for the Jats in Bharatpur and Dholpur first began in 1998. In 2013, the UPA government, led by Manmohan Singh, granted OBC reservations to the Jats in Bharatpur, Dholpur, and nine other states. However, after the BJP government came to power in 2014, OBC quota for the Jats in Bharatpur and Dholpur was annulled both at the Central and state levels.

The Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur districts were excluded from the Central OBC list following a Supreme Court order in March 2015, and then from the state OBC list following a high court verdict in August 2015. The argument then was that the Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur had historical ties to the former royal family in these districts who belonged to the Jat community.

Subsequently, in August, 2017, during the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in Rajasthan, the Jats in both districts were granted OBC reservations.

Nem Singh Faujdar, the convener of the Jat Reservation Struggle Committee, stated that the peaceful agitation would continue in Jaicholi village till January 22. He, however, added, “We will wait for the government’s response patiently. If the government does not earnestly consider this Gandhian approach, we may be compelled to engage in an all-out battle. We hope that the Central leadership will address our concerns this time. If our demands are not met, we may be forced to take to the tracks go for a total traffic blockade.”

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