In an attempt to put off the political crisis over Jats demanding inclusion in other backward classes (OBC), the government has decided to amend the rules to enable the National Commission for Backward Classes to consider afresh their demand.
The change in the rules governing its functioning will allow the commission to re-consider the demand of the Jats from Haryana, said a government source after the meeting of the Crisis Management Group.
The group reviewed the situation arising out of the continuous agitation by Jats for job quota and the steps being taken for smooth flow of trains and road traffic in northern India. If their demand is not fulfilled by
March 28, the agitators have threatened to cut off the national capital from the rest of north India in the next phase of their stir.
Government sources said the commission had once rejected their claim for inclusion in the OBC category and had not been able to inquire into their second petition for inclusion.
"There is no explicit provision in the law or the rules barring the commission from reviewing its decision. The commission, however, had followed a practice of not reviewing its decision on inclusion. Once the rule is amended, it would enable the commission to hold this review and any fresh material that may be put before it," said a government source.
For an administration that is wary of taking the agitators head-on because of the fear of antagonising the community and a backlash, the change inrules might open a process of consultation and dialogue between the government and the agitators.
Sources said this was the maximum that the government could do.
"Expecting anything more would be unreasonable," a government source said, pointing that a detailed procedure and criteria had been laid down which had to be followed to include a community as an OBC.