Two months after Jats in Haryana protested for reservation in government jobs and education, Rajputs from western Uttar Pradesh on Thursday took out a rally across Noida and Greater Noida demanding a separate quota for them in government jobs.
The community wants 35% reservation in jobs of the Central government and all state governments.
The protesters, in hundreds of cars and motorbikes, assembled at the Noida Sector 33 ground around 11am.
The demonstration was organised by Kshatriya Sena, a body of the community members formed in 2011.
The demonstrators then took out a rally till the Sector 12/22 intersection, before reaching Sector 16 and 18, the busiest commercial areas in Noida.
From Sector 18, they went to the Dadri-Surajpur-Chhalera (DSC) road and then passed through Rajput-dominant villages such as Sadarpur, Chhalera, Barola and Bhangel, to reach the office of district magistrate at Surajpur in Greater Noida.
The protesters, many of them sitting on rooftops of cars, shouted slogans such as ‘abhi to bas angdayi hai, aage badi ladai hai’ (It is just the start, a big battle lies ahead).
“Our community made huge contributions and sacrifices for the country and we deserve the biggest share of the quota in government jobs. The government should reserve 35% jobs of the Centre and all states for Rajputs because the social status of our community is declining,” said Surendra Singh (49), general secretary of Kshatriya Sena.
Members of the outfit claimed they have support from Rajputs in other states.
After this rally, Rajputs in Rajasthan, other parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar and other states have decided to stage a protest in Delhi in October this year, they said.
“We have been demanding 35% quota peacefully. Since 2011, we have held many peaceful meetings in various district headquarters in west Uttar Pradesh and written letters to the chief minister and the Prime Minister. Now, we want to protest like the Jats did in Haryana to get the government’s attention,” said Vipin Singh, a protester.
“If the Central government will not accept our demand, we will not hesitate in creating chaos in Delhi, worse than what Jats or Gujjars did. We are not bothered about reservation given to other communities. We want 35% quota to improve the condition of our community members,” said Mahesh Chauhan, another protester.
Members of the Rajput Sena said their community comprises 7% of Uttar Pradesh’s population, but their economic and social condition is bad because most government jobs are given to members of castes who have reservations.
Protesters said all political parties have misled them for years.
“The BSP is working for the Dalits, the SP is working for the Yadavs and Muslims. Who will look after the interests of Rajputs?” said Deepak Singh Thakur, a member of the Kshatriya Sena.
As the protesters passed through different roads, traffic movement was affected. Jams, lasting up to nearly 30 minutes, were reported from stretches around DSC road, Master Plan-I and Sector 18.
The stir ended after the protesters submitted a memorandum at the DM office in Greater Noida.