Former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who is president All India Jat Maha Sabha, on Monday questioned the double standards of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on providing reservation to Jats, including the Jat Sikhs, in Punjab.
Addressing a press conference along with the Sabha secretary general Yudhvir Singh, vice-president Harpal Singh, Punjab president Kikki Dhillon and Chandigarh president Rajinder Singh, Capt Amarinder pointed out that the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal had passed a unanimous resolution seeking reservation for Jats, including the Jat Sikhs in Punjab, under the Other Backward Category (OBC), but when it comes to implementation the same government is not doing anything.
The Jat Maha Sabha president maintained that the Akalis were trying to escape the responsibility by claiming, on the one hand, that it supported reservation for Jats in Punjab, but seemed actually averse to the idea. "Had the government been serious and sincere in including the Jat Sikhs in the OBC list it would have taken some initiative as was required of it," he pointed out.
The former chief minister said it was mandatory for the states, which want reservation to recommend it to the Centre. "But the Akali government in Punjab had not made any such recommendation with the result the Jats in Punjab could not get the benefit people in nine other states got." This, he pointed out, was despite the fact that the party had passed a unanimous resolution to this affect.
Replying to a question, Capt Amarinder clarified that the Jat Maha Sabha was seeking reservation only for those who were living below the creamy layer. He pointed out that tens of thousands of farmers have small land holdings who are barely managing to make ends meet. "When we seek reservation for Jat Sikhs, it is for this category and not the affluent families," he clarified.