Former chief minister and permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal will be responsible if Jats in Punjab are denied the benefit of reservation under the OBC quota in jobs and other educational institutions.
In a statement issued here, Amarinder said the high-level ministerial committee set up by the Centre to examine the issue and recommend the case for reservation was scheduled to meet on February 10. The committee will examine the recommendations of the National Backward Classes Commission for providing reservation to Jats living in nine states. All these states have made the recommendations to the commission.
"However, Punjab is not in those states since the state government has so far not made any formal recommendation to the backward classes commission, which is a mandatory requirement," said Khaira.
The former CM said this was despite the fact that the SAD had passed a unanimous resolution to the effect, seeking reservation for Jats in Punjab. He said it was intriguing that the government in Punjab had not accepted the unanimous resolution of its own party.
"Or it appears that the state government was trying to play politics by not recommending the case to the backward classes commission so that it could blame the central government for not providing the benefit of reservation to Jats in Punjab," Amarinder observed.
The CWC member said several farmer organisations from Punjab had made a strong case for reservation as most of the Jats in Punjab were now having land holdings less than 2 acres and were unemployed.
"In case, the state government recommends the case for reservation, the Jat youth will be eligible under the OBC quota for about 1.25 lakh jobs in the government of India and various educational institutions," he informed. "Why CM Badal, proclaiming himself to be the guardian of the farmers' interests, was sitting over the issue and not recommending the case to the Centre," questioned Amarinder.