The Supreme Court order on Tuesday quashing reservations in government jobs for Jats in nine states has come as a jolt to the community in Rajasthan, with flummoxed leaders saying they would seek legal remedy.
The court observed in its ruling that caste could not be the sole basis for giving reservations to Jats. Backwardness must be decided according to economic and social conditions and not just caste, the court said.
The order will affect the Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur and not of other districts.
“We respect the court but will again put pressure on the government to give reservation to the Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur in central services,” said Ramveer Singh Verma, president of the Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti.
“The decision taken by the previous UPA government was also supported by the NDA government. Therefore, we will mount pressure on it to make appropriate legislation in this regard and launch an agitation if our demand is not met,” said Singh.
Influential Jat leader Natthi Singh, also a veteran member of the Congress party, said most Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur are small farmers who need reservations as they are not wealthy. He said Jats should seek legal remedy.
Congress leader Vishvendra Singh, scion of the former ruling family of Bharatpur, described the court’s decision as “unfortunate”.
Raja Ram Meel, president of the Rajasthan Jat Mahasabha, said the decision was a blow to Jats.
“We will fight against this decision, legally and politically. We will file a review petition in court and we will also take to the streets to oppose this,” he said.
Former Rajya Sabha MP and IPS officer Gyan Prakash Pilania, who led the agitation in Rajasthan for reservation for Jats, said the order was a matter of concern. “It’s a bolt from the blue. It’s a shocking decision,” he said.
He said Jats are a farming community and are backward and deserving of reservation, said Pilania.
“There is sense of injustice and anger in the community. The judgement has opened a Pandora’s Box.”
Meanwhile, the OBC Sangh welcomed the apex court order. Sangh convenor Tarachand said the Jats were wealthy and educated and had cornered most of the share of the OBC pie.
“They don’t deserve, but have political clout so they got reservation. We will ask the government to revoke reservation to Jats in the state too.”