A day after former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh's calling for reservation for Jat Sikhs, the Jat Sikh-dominated Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday demanded that the community be put on the Other Backward Classes (OBC) list for quota in jobs and education.
The SAD passed a resolution to this effect on Tuesday at its core-committee meeting here, where party president Sukhbir Singh Badal led the proceedings, a party spokesman has said. "The party will raise the issue at the highest level in the union government and fight to get the injustice of the exclusion of Jat Sikhs from the OBC category undone," Sukhbir put in a statement after the meeting.
SAD patron and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal also stated that Jat Sikhs had been a backward community that had paid "the greatest price for freeing the country of hunger and food shortage". "The community sacrificed its natural resources such as land and water to bring in the era of surplus food stock and pull the country out of its dependence on the West for grain," he said.
Besides the father-son duo, the others in the SAD's core-committee meeting included party secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa; senior vice-president Ranjit Singh Brahampura; general secretaries Balwaidner Singh Bhunder, Charanjit Singh Atwal, Prem Singh Chandumajra, Balwant Singh Ramoowlia, Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Tota Singh, and Sucha Singh Langah; party's spokesperson Dr Daljit Singh Cheema; and Harcharan Bains, all Jat Sikhs. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar was the only non-Jat to attend the meeting.