The BJP is looking at a couple of options to provide reservation to Jats who have resorted to violent protest in neighbouring Haryana demanding OBC quota.
The party has agreed in principle to the demand for OBC reservation to what it believes is the “only agrarian community” which did not benefit from the Mandal commission recommendations.
The OBC in Haryana are divided into two groups: 16% from OBC(1) and 11% for OBC(A). The first option is to provide reservation to Jats under the OBC(A) category which consist of some other agrarian communities.
The second option is to club them into Specially Backward Classes – a route that the previous government took – to provide quota. “This option has to be backed by the National Commission for Backward Classes. The previous regime did not complete the formality and the judiciary struck down the quota,” a BJP leader said.
Rules do not permit quota share to exceed 50%. However, Haryana has 27% backward reservation and 20% for the Scheduled Castes. “The total reservation share in Haryana is 47%. There is a scope of providing 3% Jat reservation. This is the third option,” the BJP leader said.
However, the party is unsure if the community that comprises 26% of state’s total population would settle for just 3% reservation.
All these options were discussed at the first meeting of the BJP committee headed by Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu to find a way out. “We will talk to the community leaders. We have sought a report from the state government. We will have daily meetings to sort out the matter,” a member of the panel said.
The committee is trying to submit its report a week before the budget session of Haryana assembly so that the state government can bring a related legislation, as promised.
In power at the Centre and the state, the BJP has ruled out replacing chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who faces heat over the Jat reservation protest. Khattar will attend a meeting of the Naidu committee on Tuesday.