With the Economic Backward Classes (EBC) reservation tangled in legal issues, the Rajasthan government sought to allay the anger among youths from these communities by announcing a slew of incentives. As recent as March 3, thousands of Rajputs and other upper caste youths had taken to the streets to demand reservation, indulging in petty vandalism during their protest march to Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha. They also pelted stones, tearing hoardings and breaking windows of cars parked outside the state BJP office.
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In her Budget, the CM announced incentives for outstanding EBC students from general category, whose family income is less than Rs 2.5 lakh annually. Such students of Rajasthan Board, who get top 100 positions in Classes X and XII (all streams), will be awarded Rs 15,000 in lump sum. Similarly, top 100 students who get admission in IIT, IIM, AIIMS, NLU, IISc will get Rs 25,000; top 100 candidates of RAS exams will get Rs 30,000 and top 50 candidates who get into All India Services will be awarded Rs 50,000.
Top 100 girls of RBSE who score over 90 per cent marks in Class X and top 100 girls students who score over 90 per cent in science, arts and commerce streams in class XII (total 300) will get a scooty and a certificate of appreciation, the CM announced.
“For 16 years we were polite and they didn’t hear us. Now five days after our protest they show some concern. We are happy with the announcement but the income limit should be raised from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh,” said Sukhdev Singh, national president of Shri Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena (SRRKS) which had led the March 3 protest.
A delegation of SRRKS and other upper caste organisations met senior cabinet minister Yunus Khan and Social Justice and Empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi on Wednesday. “We have communicated our suggestion to the ministers,” he said.
However, the government may need to do more as SRRKS has not yet called off its March 23 protest outside state assembly and Jaipur airport over 14 per cent reservation, withdrawal of cases against its leaders, banning release of ‘Padmavati’ in Rajasthan, among other demands.
SRRKS is a splinter group of Lokendra Singh Kalvi-led Shri Rajput Karni Sena (SRKS), which had attacked filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and vandalised equipment while he was shooting at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur this January.