Close on the heels of the Jat agitation in Haryana and in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, Congress MLA from Sardarshahar assembly seat in Churu district, Bhanwar Lal Sharma, on Thursday said that the Rajasthan government should “immediately” take steps for implementation of the 14 per cent reservation for economically backward classes, else the “Brahmins will be forced to create an adverse environment for the government.”
In September last year, the Assembly had cleared the Rajasthan Economically Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutes in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2015 to provide 14 per cent reservation to the economically backward classes (EBC) among the forward castes, apart from five per cent to special backward classes (SBC) under a separate Bill.
Sharma, one of the senior-most legislators in the Assembly, is the president of the All India Brahmin Federation, which has members from 22 states and has its administrative office in Kerala. The AIBF, founded in 1984, has several Brahmin organisations and associations under its wings across the states.
“We are ahinsawadi (non-violent) and we are educated. So we will press for our demand in a democratic manner. But at the same time, we would like to warn the government that if they don’t address this in a timely manner, we would have no option but to create an adverse environment for CM Vasundhara Raje and her cabinet of ministers,” Sharma told The Indian Express.
Sharma said that “an internal tussle” between CM Raje and senior BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari, who is opposed to her and has also been pushing for the EBC quota, was delaying the process. “The CM is delaying the notification as it would mean Tiwari’s win, who would happily claim it was due to his efforts,” Sharma alleged. It was in 2008 that Tiwari, as the then Law minister in Raje government, had introduced the EBC and SBC reservation which was subsequently stayed by the High Court.
The government’s move took the overall quota in the state to 69 per cent – 19 per cent more than the Supreme Court-mandated cap of 50 per cent.
So the Raje government now hopes to get the two bills included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.
The Assembly had also passed resolutions to request the Centre to amend the Constitution to bring the two bills under Article 31B of the Ninth Schedule.