Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati on Monday shot off another letter to PM Manmohan Singh demanding reservation for the Jat community.
This is her third letter to the PM in the span of a week. The last two days, in separate letters to the PM, she had sought reservations for Muslims and the poor among upper castes.
In Monday's letter, Mayawati drew attention to the plight of the Jat community and their inadequate representation in the central government. Stating the Centre had included Jats of Rajasthan in the OBC category, she said the community in UP should be given the same status.
The CM's letter is perceived as an attempt to wean away the community from the control of Chaudhary Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
The RLD owes its strength in the region to its sway over the Jat-Muslim combination.
After the recent land acquisition bids in Noida/Greater Noida and western UP districts, the Jat community has found itself in the middle of a political tug of war, with the BSP on one side and the Congress represented by Rahul Gandhi on the other.
Criticising the move, RLD national general secretary Jayant Chaudhary said had the CM been serious about extending reservation she would have adopted a definite procedure instead of writing a letter. "Any such move requires setting up a commission to study socio-economic parameters with regard to a caste or community that is intended to be brought under the reservation net and also passing a resolution in the Assembly," he pointed out.
He, however, clarified, that the RLD welcomed any move aimed at extending the benefit of reservations to Muslims and some other castes. He said, "In fact, providing reservation to Muslims was a part of our Party's manifesto during the Lok Sabha polls."
Meanwhile, SP leader Mohammad Azam Khan said, "The Mayawati government is not serious about the problems being faced by Muslims… Taking up the issue now means insulting and befooling Muslims for their votes."