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Amarinder writes to PM over quota to Jats, wants it in Punjab

Describing Centre`s reservation to jats in central government jobs "only" in 9 state as "unfair and discriminatory", Punjab Congress` Amarinder Singh wrote to PM Manmohan Singh to extend it to Punjab.

PTI| Updated: Dec 22, 2013, 19:23 PM IST

Patiala: Describing Centre`s move to provide reservation to jats in central government jobs "only" in nine state as "unfair and discriminatory", Punjab Congress leader Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to extend it to Punjab and three other states.
Singh, a former Punjab chief minister and president of the All India Jat Maha Sabha, has also said the reservation should be based on the caste and not on religious basis, as Sikh and Muslim Jats have been excluded from the benefit at several places.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, copies of which were released to the media here today, Singh said, Jats have presence in 13 states all over the country.

He demanded that the benefit should also be extended to Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

With an apparent attempt to woo Jats ahead of Lok Sabha polls, the Centre on December 19 took a step forward towards granting them reservation in central government jobs as it asked the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to expeditiously take a call on it.

Considering a proposal of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the Union Cabinet held that NCBC should reconsider its earlier decision of 2011 in which it had rejected demands for reservation to the community at the central level.

The Cabinet asked the NCBC to take an early decision on including Jats in the central list of OBCs by which the community members can avail benefits of reservation.

The senior Congress leader said the move is "unfair and discriminatory" and national decisions cannot be applied "selectively". "This is arbitrary and will be viewed as a partisan attitude," he said.

Singh said that no national decision can be made for a part of the community falling within the part of the country.

In this case, he added, Jats be they Hindus, Sikhs or Muslims have been "divided on national basis which is unjust and unfair".

Singh had also written to Congress President Sonia Gandhi on the same issue this month.

Meanwhile, the Congress leader lashed out at the ruling
Akalis in Punjab for "failing to provide reservation to Jats" in the state as has been done by other states in the country.

"What stops the Akalis from giving the benefit of reservation to Jats within the state?" he questioned.

Singh said he will "ensure that the Jats are provided reservation in Punjab also by the Centre but let the Akalis not run away from their responsibility in the state".

"It is surprising that Punjab has not communicated anything to the Centre so far on the issue," he said.