In a significant development, the Gujarat government declared that it will modify a controversial General Resolution (GR) of the General Administration Department (GAD) related to the implementation of the 33% women’s reservation in the recruitment of government jobs in the state. Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said this in Gandhinagar while addressing mediapersons on Tuesday.
The announcement comes at a time when around 30 women job aspirants from Other Backward Classes/ Scheduled Tribe/ Scheduled Caste communities have been protesting here against the GR for the past 64 days. They have been protesting against the GR — dated August 1, 2018 — as it prohibits the reserved community women from competing in the open competition category within the 33% women’s reservation in the government recruitment.
Jadeja said that Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has taken a decision after holding a high-level meeting with ministers of his Cabinet on Tuesday. “It has been decided that modification will be carried out in the GR with regard to whatever discrepancies it has caused. Those discrepancies will be corrected. This government is committed to the policy of reservation and towards the constitutional rights being given to concerned communities…The modification will be carried out shortly,” Jadeja said.
He also appealed to the protesting women from OBC/ST/SC communities to end their protest. However, one of the protesting women candidates, Rinkal Chaudhary said that they will continue to sit in protest until they receive assurance in writing from the state government.
CM Rupani received a number of representations from BJP leaders regarding the prejudices the GR was causing to the women candidates. In fact, some BJP leaders like Bharatsinh Dabhi and Alpesh Thakor had visited the women at the protest site, Satyagraha Chhavani.
Opposition Congress has also been vocal in supporting the protesting women while threatening to launch an agitation in their support. Three Congress MLAs – Naushad Solanki, Chandanji Thakor and Rutik Makwana — had on Monday declared that they would be sitting on a fast for 72 hours in support of the women from Wednesday.
Meanwhile, women from unreserved communities have come against the protesting women of OBC/ST/SC communities while voicing their support to the GR. The women from unreserved communities have been supported by various community leaders like Lalji Patel, Dinesh Bambhaniya, Purvin Patel, etc. They have also formed an informal group, Binanamat Sankalan Samiti, to protest against any changes to the 2018 GR.
Jadeja said that the government will make sure that nobody’s right is harmed while modifying the 2018 GR. However, addressing mediapersons late in the evening, Bambhaniya said that the decision to modify the 2018 GR has been taken under political pressure.
“The government should not take decisions under political pressure. We will protest if any modification is carried out to the 2018 GR without hearing us. We have called a meeting of Binanamat Sankalat Samiti tomorrow and will declare our future protest programmes after the meeting,” said Bambhaniya.