The Rajasthan Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed the Rajasthan Backward Classes Amendment Bill, 2019 that grants 5 per cent reservation to Gujjars and four other communities in jobs and educational institutions.
The bill was presented in the Rajasthan Assembly by Energy Minister BD Kalla to pacify members of the Gujjar community who have been holding demonstrations since February 8 across the state for quota. They had blocked the Delhi-Mumbai railway track and several highways and roads.
The bill seeks to increase the backward classes’ reservation from the present 21 per cent to 26 per cent with five per cent reservation to Gujjars, Banjaras, Gadia Lohars, Raikas and Gadaria.
The statement on the objective and reasons of the bill stated that the five castes are most backward and require five per cent separate reservation. It also mentions that the central government recently passed the constitution amendment bill to extend reservation to the EWS section among upper castes and that breached the limit of 50 per cent reservation earmarked by the Supreme Court.
Gujjar leaders had earlier indicated that they will only call off their protest if they see a “concrete proposal” from the government, implying that they wanted the bill to be passed first.
While targeting the Central government, Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla had also warned the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan against doing anything to provoke the agitators.
Gujjars had given a 20-day ultimatum to the state government to clear its stand on providing the quota.
Bainsla and his supporters had blocked the railway tracks in Sawai Madhopur district and several highways. The protesters blocked the vital National Highway-11 connecting Agra and Jaipur with Delhi—the Golden Triangle tourist circuit.
The blockade by Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti chief Bainsla and his supporters has forced the West Central Railway (CWR) to divert, cancel or partially terminate nearly 200 trains in the last six days.
(With PTI inputs)