The BJP has promised to increase reservation to the OBC in proportion to their population and within the ambit of the constitutional provisions(Parwaz Khan / HT File)
The BJP has promised to increase reservation to the OBC in proportion to their population and within the ambit of the constitutional provisions(Parwaz Khan / HT File)

Jharkhand Assembly Election 2019: Quota for backward classes a key election plank in ‘tribal state’

All major parties, including the BJP, JMM, Congress, AJSU Party, JVM (P), have promised to increase OBC reservation in the state, which currently stands at 14%.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Ranchi
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2019 07:40 AM IST

Increasing reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the other backward classes (OBC) in the state has become one of the biggest poll issues in Jharkhand, which primarily carries the tag of being a ‘tribal state’. Tribals make around 26% of the 3.25 crore state population as per the 2011 census. Voting in the first phase of assembly election is taking place in 13 constituencies on Thursday.

All major parties, including the BJP, JMM, Congress, AJSU Party, JVM (P), have promised to increase OBC reservation in the state, which currently stands at 14%.

The reservation to scheduled categories in Jharkhand is currently capped at 50%, besides the recently-implemented 10% quota to the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) in the general category. While the Scheduled Tribes (ST) get 26% quota, Scheduled Castes (SCs) get 10% and OBCs have 14% reservation.

While the BJP has promised to increase reservation to the OBC in proportion to their population and within the ambit of the constitutional provisions, other major players including the JMM, Congress, JVM (P) and Ajsu Party have promised to increase OBC reservation to 27%.

Besides the poll manifesto, the issue was discussed by star campaigners across parties without fail in election rallies, thus making it a major element in the larger political narrative in this election.

“The Congress fooled backward classes for 70 years despite being in power. But soon after Modi ji came to power, he gave constitutional status to the backward class commission. Once we come back to power in Jharkhand, we will also be increasing reservation to the OBC in a manner so that maximum youth get benefitted of it. It will part of our manifesto,” BJP president Amit Shah had said in his first rally for the assembly election in the state at Manika. He repeated the issue in his other rallies.

Addressing reporters in Ranchi, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, however, questioned the commitment of the BJP over the issue.

“They have made a vague promise in their manifesto. We have promised to increase OBC reservation to 27% and we would implement it here as we did it in Chhattisgarh,” he said.

Increasing OBC reservation was major poll promise of the Congress in neighbouring Chhattisgarh in 2018, when it wrested power from the BJP in the state after 15 years. The Baghel government decision to increase OBC reservation to 27% has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

Anil Sinha, a former advocate general and member of the BJP manifesto Committee said their promise is a workable one. “It has been a long pending demand. And we would increase OBC reservation as we have promised in our manifesto to implement it in accordance to law,” he added.

Earlier this year, the state government has directed all district administration to get census of OBC population done to have an exact assessment of the count. BJP leaders underline that its government actions are self-explanatory that they have done their homework and are working seriously to implement it with an eye on clearing the judicial scrutiny.

Political observers see the issue getting primacy in the poll narrative as ‘assertion’ of the OBC class for their long pending demand.

“Mandal Commission had recommended 27% reservation for the OBC but state governments in states such as Jharkhand had tweaked it to suit the local demography in accordance with the 50% cap set by the Supreme Court. However, that has now been breached with the 10% reservation for EWS in general category,” said KL Kundan, who teaches political science at Ranchi University.

“Though hike in OBC reservation is long-pending demand, it has gained centre stage as the OBC leadership is now in a dominant position across the spectrum. Besides their huge population which is important politically, people in this category are now also better equipped in terms of education and resource besides being politically well placed to assert their demand,” he added.

The Shibu Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), a party considered of the tribals, is also flagging up the issue in a big way. JMM leaders also promise to amend the domicile policy so that the ‘moolvasis’ (original inhabitants) among the OBCs get the real benefits of the decision.

Unlike in the past, how come OBC reservation became a major issue for the JMM?

JMM principal general secretary Supriyo Bhhattacharya said, “We have always fought for the rights of tribals as well as the moolvasis. We are taking this up because of the experience that we gained over the past five years of the Raghuabr Das regime. Most of the vacancies filled up by this government were grabbed by people from outside the state. It’s a given that the caste groups like Kudmis, Koeris, Ahirs, Telis in other states are better placed in terms of social, education and economic status.”

“We will amend the domicile and the employment policy to suit the moolvasis,” he added.

However, implementation of this promise in the state could face another challenge as there has been a parallel demand from Kurmis, who make a big chunk of the OBC category in Jharkhand, of giving them scheduled tribe (ST) status.

“The Kurmis, who are also called Kudmis, of Jharkhand are different from those in other states. Before independence we had ST status. We want that back. And we would continue with our demand till we achieve it,” said Sheetal Ohdar, convener of the ‘Kurmi/Kudmi Vikash Morcha’.

Kurmi/Kudmi Vikash Morcha, besides other such pressure groups, has been lobbying for the demand and has repeatedly been holding protests and demonstration on the issue.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The elections in four states and a union territory will take place in April-May.(AFP File Photo)
The elections in four states and a union territory will take place in April-May.(AFP File Photo)

ABP-C-Voter opinion poll predicts edge for TMC in West Bengal

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:02 PM IST
The Election Commission announced Assembly election schedule a few days ago. West Bengal will see an eight-phased election.
Close
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan addresses a rally during his 'Jan Arashirvad Yatra' in Jabalpur on October 25.(PTI Photo)
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan addresses a rally during his 'Jan Arashirvad Yatra' in Jabalpur on October 25.(PTI Photo)

May 2 Didi Gayi, BJP Aayi: Shivraj Singh coins new slogan ahead of Bengal polls

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 11:13 AM IST
The BJP has expressed confidence it will gain a majority with over 200 seats in West Bengal.
Close
Elections are being held in 8,235 seats in local bodies in Gujarat. (PTI File photo )
Elections are being held in 8,235 seats in local bodies in Gujarat. (PTI File photo )

Voting underway for local bodies polls in Gujarat

PTI, Ahmedabad
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 10:21 AM IST
Elections are being held in 8,235 seats, where the BJP has fielded 8,161 candidates, the Congress-7,778, the Aam Aadmi Party-2,090, among others, said the SEC.
Close
People outside a polling booth in Delhi's Trilokpuri on Sunday. (ANI Photo )
People outside a polling booth in Delhi's Trilokpuri on Sunday. (ANI Photo )

Delhi municipal by-polls: Voting underway at 5 MCD wards

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:27 AM IST
Four of the five wards fell vacant after their incumbent councillors were elected as the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) legislators in the assembly polls whereas the by-election in Shalimar Bagh was necessitated after the death of councillor Renu Jaju.
Close
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressing the Kisan Panchayat in Mathura on Tuesday,(HT File Photo)
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressing the Kisan Panchayat in Mathura on Tuesday,(HT File Photo)

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to campaign in poll-bound Assam from March 1

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 08:22 AM IST
Besides Assam, the state Congress units in other poll-bound states also want Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to campaign for their candidates. But she tends to limit herself to UP.
Close
Overall 143 companies of CAPF have come to West Bengal so far. (AP File Photo )
Overall 143 companies of CAPF have come to West Bengal so far. (AP File Photo )

West Bengal polls 2021: Special police observer Vivek Dubey to reach on Sunday

PTI, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:54 AM IST
At least 18 companies of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) reached West Bengal on Saturday as part of the ongoing deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in the state for the assembly polls.
Close
The BJP had earlier said it will not have any alliance with its existing ally BPF in the assembly polls.(Rajib Jyoti Sarma/HT file photo)
The BJP had earlier said it will not have any alliance with its existing ally BPF in the assembly polls.(Rajib Jyoti Sarma/HT file photo)

Assam assembly polls: BPF exits NDA, set to join Congress alliance

PTI, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 05:50 AM IST
“To work for peace, unity and development, the BPF has decided to join hands with the ‘Mahajath’ in the forthcoming Assam Assembly elections,” party chief Hagrama Mohilary tweeted.
Close
A complaint has also been lodged in this regard in the Phoolbagan police station.(Twitter. Representative image)
A complaint has also been lodged in this regard in the Phoolbagan police station.(Twitter. Representative image)

BJP says TMC vandalised poll campaign cars, party hits back

By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 04:32 AM IST
Assembly elections in the state are scheduled to be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. According to the BJP, TMC workers entered the godown and vandalised at least seven vehicles meant for their ‘Lokkho Sonar Bangla’ (Target Golden Bengal) campaign.
Close
"We think there is a political touch to this because a BJP delegation met the state’s chief electoral officer on Saturday,” said Saugata Roy, TMC MP.(File photo. Representative image)
"We think there is a political touch to this because a BJP delegation met the state’s chief electoral officer on Saturday,” said Saugata Roy, TMC MP.(File photo. Representative image)

EC’s transfer of two IPS officers in Bengal sparks fresh slugfest

By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 02:32 AM IST
Senior IPS officer Jawed Shamim, who was serving as the additional director general of police, was transferred as the director general (DG) fire services, and DG (fire services) Jag Mohan will take his place.
Close
“We scaled down our demand for the seats since the government fulfilled our demand for the Vanniyar reservation,” PMK leader and former Union minister Anbumani Ramadoss said.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT File Photo)
“We scaled down our demand for the seats since the government fulfilled our demand for the Vanniyar reservation,” PMK leader and former Union minister Anbumani Ramadoss said.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT File Photo)

AIADMK seals poll deal with ally PMK, allots 23 of 234 seats

By Divya Chandrababu, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:41 AM IST
A day after the election commission announced dates for poll-bound states, the AIADMK-led NDA alliance began seat-sharing talks on Saturday morning, first with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and later with the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).
Close
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses during the inauguration of Orphanage Polytechnic College Edavanna at Eranad in Malappuram on Tuesday. (ANI photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses during the inauguration of Orphanage Polytechnic College Edavanna at Eranad in Malappuram on Tuesday. (ANI photo)

Democracy is dead in India, says Rahul Gandhi

By HT Correspondent, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 12:31 AM IST
“I am sad to tell you that democracy is dead in India. It is dead because one organisation- the RSS has combined with huge finances to penetrate and disturb and destroy our institutional balance,” said Gandhi, kicking off his three-day campaign in Tamil Nadu, which is slated to go to polls on April 6.
Close
Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan, founder of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), attends a media briefing ahead of the Tamil Nadu assembly elections in Chennai on Saturday. (AFP PHOTO).
Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan, founder of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), attends a media briefing ahead of the Tamil Nadu assembly elections in Chennai on Saturday. (AFP PHOTO).

Smaller parties call on Kamal Haasan; prep for assembly polls due next month

PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:49 PM IST
  • On Friday, a social organisation against corruption, Satta Panchayat Iyakkam joined hands with MNM. Former MLA Pazha Karuppiah who has been with both the DMK and AIADMK also joined MNM and will be contesting on the fledgling party’s ticket.
Close
Hagrama Mohilary, Bodoland People’s Front leader.(PTI File Photo)
Hagrama Mohilary, Bodoland People’s Front leader.(PTI File Photo)

Assam Assembly polls: Bodoland Peoples' Front joins Congress-led coalition

ANI
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 11:00 PM IST
"To work for Peace, Unity, and Development and to bring a stable government, free from corruption in Assam, the Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) has decided to join hands with the MAHAJATH," BPF leader Hagrama Mohilary said in a statement on Facebook.
Close
A host of BJP national leaders will visit Kerala to partake in the Vijaya Yatra rally in various districts which includes - Union Minister Gen VK Singh, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister Smriti Irani among others.(AFP)
A host of BJP national leaders will visit Kerala to partake in the Vijaya Yatra rally in various districts which includes - Union Minister Gen VK Singh, former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister Smriti Irani among others.(AFP)

Kerala polls: BJP hopes to win all 14 seats in Thiruvananthapuram district

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 10:50 PM IST
While speaking to ANI, Thiruvananthapuram BJP district president VV Rajesh said that the cadre is well prepared for Kerala Assembly polls 2021 and the party is getting support in rural areas due to the development works done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government.
Close
The Aam Aadmi Party, with 2,097 contestants and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), that has fielded candidates in minority-dominated seats in Godhra, Modasa and Bharuch municipalities will contest against the BJP and Congress.(PTI/ File photo)
The Aam Aadmi Party, with 2,097 contestants and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), that has fielded candidates in minority-dominated seats in Godhra, Modasa and Bharuch municipalities will contest against the BJP and Congress.(PTI/ File photo)

Gujarat local bodies polls tomorrow: All you need to know

Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 10:10 PM IST
These elections come within a week of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning all six civic corporation polls held in Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP