Reservation for Jats apparently holds the key to the Rashtriya Lok Dal-Congress alliance for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Union minister and RLD chief Ajit Singh is understood to have indicated to his followers that this was one of the incontrovertible demands of the party — which commands a chunk of the Jat vote.
Singh — who said this at an RLD meeting two days ago — has been pressing for reservation for Jats in government jobs and educational institutions ever since he joined hands with the Congress a year ago.
He had also met then Union home minister P Chidambaram and asked him to take necessary steps to include Jats in the OBC category.
The RLD is currently wary of having a pre-poll alliance with the Congress for 2014. With anti-incumbency at its peak, an alliance could be suicidal, say senior party leaders.
“Singh told partymen that he was trying hard to bargain for Jat reservation and hoped the UPA government would soon announce the inclusion of Jats into the Other Backward Class schedule, entitling them to reservation in Central government jobs and educational institutions,” said a senior party leader.
“This also implies that if the Congress fails to fulfill its promise on reservations, the RLD may get an excuse to chart a course independent of the Congress.”