All India Jat Maha Sabha president Amarinder Singh on Thursday lambasted the SAD-BJP led Punjab government for making "deliberate" delay in declaring Jats and Jat Sikhs as backward classes, saying the Maha Sabha would "expose" the state government in the Lok Sabha polls.
Dubbing as eyewash the state government's announcement of declaring Jats as BC on the eve of the announcement of general elections, the former Punjab Chief Minister blamed the SAD-BJP government for denial of OBC reservation benefit to Jats and Jat Sikhs of Punjab.
"Just a day before elections were to be announced, the state government hurriedly declared Jats and Jat Sikhs as BC.
However, as the code of conduct is in place, it cannot be notified. Now, Punjab's poor Jats will suffer," Amarinder told reporters here.
He said that despite writing twice to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for declaring Jats and Jat Sikhs as BC in the state list in order to make them eligible for inclusion in central OBC list, the state government chose to ignore this issue.
"Had this decision (of providing reservation) taken earlier, on Thursday the Jats and Jat Sikhs of Punjab would be entitled to the benefits in central services and educational institutions like in nine other states", he regretted while alleging, "Badal did not do it purposely as he selfishly thought that I or the Congress may get the credit and some benefit by this decision."
Amarinder said that as per constitutional requirement, state government first must have to declare Jats as BC in the state list then it could be considered by Centre for including in central list of OBC. "Unless the state government converted into law (declaring Jats as BC), the Centre cannot do it," he said.
The union cabinet had granted Other Backward Class (OBC) status to Jats of nine states of Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, which would pave the way for the community members to avail benefits of reservation in central government jobs and central education institutions as per existing norms.