Where are Jats in Bihar?
The State Commission for Backward Classes (SCBC) is dismayed at the union cabinet including Bihar among the nine states from where Jats have been put in the central list of OBCs. And both the JD(U) and BJP are upset because the feel Jats “cannot be given reservation at the expense of 131 OBCs in Bihar”.
The cabinet on March 2 approved the inclusion of Jats in the central OBC list of nine states including Bihar, which has no Jat population. The decision was apparently taken to appease Jat leader Ajit Singh.
The SCBC, which gave a written representation to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) on the subject in the last week of February, has described the Centre’s decision as “ludicrous”.
SCBC member and social scientist Jag Narayan Singh told The Indian Express: “When NCBC recently queried about Jats in Bihar, we clearly said that the state had no Jat population and it made no sense to include Jats in the central OBC list for Bihar. Our chairman Justice (retd) Dharmpal Sinha visited Delhi last week to make the position clear.”
Singh said the Bihar commission had told NCBC that it could not agree with the idea of putting Bihar among the nine states. The NCBC could, if it wanted, go ahead “on its own, without any rationale though”. Singh said the the NCBC had held no public hearing in Bihar about including Jats in the list.
The BJP and JD(U) have found a rare unanimity on the issue. Former deputy CM and BJP legislature party leader Sushil Kumar Modi said, “It is an aberration. It looks erroneous and evokes surprise. Including Jats in central OBC list of nine states will surely hurt the interests of OBCs in Bihar. Jats are a powerful community, and it is not fair that they should get jobs at the expense of other OBCs without increasing the overall quota.”
JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson K C Tyagi said: “We are surprised. We never expected Bihar to be among the nine states. Where are Jats in Bihar? This is dirty politics in election season.” India’s Jat population is estimated to be around 9 crore. The decision gives them benefits of reservation in central government jobs and central education institutions in the states of Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and the National Capital Territory of Delhi.