In a hurried poll-centric move to beat the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections, Punjab's Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government on Tuesday declared Jats and Jat Sikhs as backward classes to make them eligible for quota in the state and central government jobs.
The decision is a desperate attempt at catching the quota bus the state had missed after the union cabinet in its last meeting had granted Other Backward Castes (OBC) status to the Jats in nine North Indian states. The Jats and Jat Sikhs of Punjab were not included in the union cabinet decision, as the Parkash Singh Badal government had to first allow Jat reservation in the state list.
All nine states given the benefit had brought the Jats on the state BC list. Until Tuesday, the Badal government, in spite of repeated reminders from former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, had not brought this proposal before the state cabinet.
Woken up on Tuesday, the cabinet went into a hurried meeting and decided to make a commission that would work out the modalities for implementing the quota decision. Economically weaker people from the general categories would also get the benefit of reservation, it decided.
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