JAIPUR: The Rajasthan assembly on Tuesday passed two bills granting 5% reservation to Gujjar led special backward classes and 14% to economically backward classes, taking the total quota quantum in the state to over 50%.The Vasundhra Raje government also pushed through resolutions urging the Centre to place the twin bills in the 9th schedule of the Constitution to buffer them from legal scrutiny.
Interestingly, the hurried decision of the state came a day after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat stirred a storm by suggesting that the reservation system be reviewed. The two are, however, unlikely to be linked as the bills are a result of a long process.If the Raje regime passed the legislations despite knowing the pitfalls of breaching the halfway mark and introducing quotas on economic criteria that are legally untenable, as flagged by two MLAs in the assembly, the recurring protests by Gujjars are seen as the provocation.
The government hopes to prove it’s bona fide through its demand to the Center that the bills be put in the 9th schedule. Given the polarization around quotas in Rajasthan society, it is anticipated that the two bills will be challenged in the high court the moment they are signed by the governor.
As of now, quotas in state jobs and educational institutions stand at 49% and the fresh measures will stretch it to 68%.