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Rajputs raise chorus for OBC quota, announce protest of Raje’s yatra

Vasundhara Raje will begin her 40-day yatra from Rajsamand in southern Rajasthan on August 4. On August 3, the Mewar Kshatriya Mahasabha, Vagad Kshatriya Mahasabad and Rajpur Arakshan Manch will march from Udaipur to Ekling temple to appeal to the community to oppose the yatra

rajasthan elections 2018 Updated: Jul 31, 2018 21:39 IST
Rakesh Goswami
Rakesh Goswami
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
OBC quota,Reservation,Rajput quota
Protesting against the encounter death of gangster Anandpal, Rajput outfits had burnt tyres and staged protest in Bikaner .(HT File)

Rajputs in Rajasthan have raised the chorus for the community’s inclusion in the other backward classes (OBC) for reservation in jobs and educational institutions. The community, already angry with chief minister Vasundhara Raje for ignoring it for long and stonewalling Gajendra Singh Shekhawat’s appointment as BJP state president, will protest her Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra across the state.

Raje will begin her 40-day yatra from Rajsamand in southern Rajasthan, from the area known as the Mewar region, on August 4. A day before this, the Mewar Kshatriya Mahasabha, Vagad Kshatriya Mahasabad and Rajpur Arakshan Manch will march from Udaipur to Ekling temple for four kilometres to appeal to the community to oppose the CM’s yatra in the region.

“We plan to tell the Rajputs in the state how Raje has cheated them and has not even forwarded our request for reservation under the OBC category to the OBC Commission for a survey,” said Mewar Kshatriya Mahasabha president Bachchu Singh Karnawat.

Survey by the OBC Commission is a prerequisite for a community to get included into the OBC category. “The survey will authenticate our claim for social and educational backwardness of the Rajputs. The commission may reject our request if we don’t fulfill the criteria for inclusion in the OBC list,” said Rajpur Arakshan Manch president Sampat Singh Shekhawat.

“On January 17 this year, our units in all 33 districts gave a memorandum addressed to the chief minister to district collectors to demand survey by the OBC Commission but the Raje government has been sitting on our demand for a long time. We are left with no alternative but to oppose the party in forthcoming elections,” he added.

The arakshan manch organized a meeting of the community bodies in Jaipur on Sunday. Rajputs MLAs from both BJP and the Congress were invited to this meeting but they gave it the slip. Only one Rajput MLA – Manoj Nyangali from BSP – attended the meeting where the leaders decided to oppose BJP in the forthcoming Assembly elections because Raje government had ignored it for Jats.

“If you look at the list of IAS and IPS officers in the state in last four-years-and-a-half, you will find that Jat officers have been chosen over Rajput officers for district collectors and district police chiefs,” Shekhawat said.

Meanwhile, Raje called a meeting of Rajput ministers and heads of boards and commissions at her official residence on Monday, and asked them to tell the community what the BJP has done for it. “We have been told to tell the community that BJP has always fielded more Rajputs in elections than Congress and that there are four Rajput ministers so the community should not feel neglected by the BJP,” said a leader who was present in the meeting but didn’t want to be named.

In the current Assembly, there are 27 Rajput MLAs, including 24 from the BJP. The Rajputs are 5-6% of state’s population (though community leaders claim they are 10.65%) as per the extrapolation from 1931 caste census. The community is angry with the BJP government over Jaswant Singh’s slight, Anandpal Singh encounter, criminal cases on Rajput leaders in the subsequent protest in Sanwrad village of Nagaur district, Samrau violence in Jodhpur and Padmaavat film.

However, state BJP president Madanlal Saini refused to buy that the Rajputs were cross with the party. “Generations of Rajputs have sacrificed their lives for the independence of the country. BJP is engaged in nation building. Rajputs are true patriots and they will support a nationalist party like the BJP. Reservation is not an issue. During election season it’s natural that demands being are made,” he said.

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 21:39 IST