Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday favoured bringing economically weaker sections of the general category under the ambit of reservation.
“The time has come that the economically weak and underprivileged from the general category, irrespective of the caste or community they belong to, are also provided benefits of reservation,” the PPCC chief said in a release, reacting to pro-quota agitations taking a violent turn.
“This does not mean making economy the only criterion for reservation as social and caste backwardness cannot be overlooked. Those getting benefits on caste basis, as enshrined in our Constitution, must continue to get the same,” he clarified.
“We can’t afford to shut our eyes to the problem which needs to be recognised and solved,” he observed, while pointing out how the demand for reservation by castes such as the Gujjars in Rajasthan, Patels in Gujarat and Jats in Haryana was growing day by day.
He stated that during his recent interaction with students in colleges and universities across Punjab, there had been a consistent demand for extending the benefit of reservation to the economically weaker sections and underprivileged from the general category also.
“It is a completely fair and justified demand which needs to be addressed and considered seriously,” he added.
Referring to the ongoing agitation by Jats in Haryana, he said it was the outcome of frustration of people who thought they were being denied their rightful due. “And this frustration is not restricted to the Jats in Haryana alone,” he said, saying that it was the same everywhere, including Punjab.