LUCKNOW: Chief minister Mayawati on Thursday tried to kill two birds with one stone by announcing support to the Jat community demanding reservation in central services under other backward class (OBC) category. She has therefore, put the ball in Centre’s court by asking the Congress led UPA government to accept the demand of Jats and at the same time scored over rival Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which has strong base in the Jat-land but has been silent over the issue so far.
But contrary to Maya’s appeal of peaceful protest, the Jats turned violent on Thursday. They indulged in arson at UP-Delhi border and announced the launch of agitation using `Guerrilla war technique’, that is, flash violent protests at an undisclosed place in Delhi for next few days and flee the venue before arrival of police. It will be followed by a full fledged agitation, if their demand is not met, to choke Delhi by blocking all the rail and road routes.
The Jat community which includes Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs is already getting OBC reservation in UP and Rajasthan. They are demanding similar facility in central services, Punjab, Haryana and Jammu. The demand of reservation is 20 years old. But for last three years, Jats have been agitating continuously in a peaceful manner for last three years. Now for last six days, the members of Jat Mahasabha have blocked the Delhi-Lucknow rail route at Kafurpur in JP Nagar.
Interestingly, Maya dealt strictly with Samajwadi Party workers holding demonstration against the state government for last three days but has made no attempt to clear the rail route blocked by Jats. The chief minister only made an appeal on Thursday asking Jats to lay siege in Delhi as their demands can be fulfilled by the UPA government. While reiterating her support for including Jats in OBC list, Maya also asked them to maintain peace and order. But Jats say that they have nothing against the state government but slammed Congress led UPA government. “The government at the Centre does not listens to peaceful agitations, hence we have decided to intensify our stir,” said Jat leader Yashpal Mallik.
Notably, on Wednesday, a delegation of Jats had held talks with the Union cabinet secretary but it failed. The issue of Jats was also raised in the Parliament on Thursday. But no solution is in the sight as yet.
According to political analysts, Maya has supported Jat agitation because she has nothing to lose but may gain. Jats have never been her vote bank. This will help her to make inroads in the community. In contrast, other political parties like SP fear losing votes of Yadavs, if it would support Jats openly. On being included in the OBC list, Jats will cut into the share of Yadavs and OBCs in the reservation. The RLDis playing safe because Jats are already in OBC list in UP.
However, farmer rights activist Prof Sudhir Kumar said that Jats should get reservation because their socio-economic status is similar or lower to Yadavs and other castes in the OBC list. “Jats got reservation in UP and Rajasthan through non-political movements. The agitation at present is also being organised by a non-political outfit. But the Congress is perhaps ignoring it because Jats traditionally have been voting for other parties in UP,” he added.