In what looks to be a major breakthrough for reservation demands in India, the Gujarat government, on Friday, announced 10 percent for all non-reserved categories on the basis of their annual income. Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said that the reservation will be given to all those whose annual income is Rs 6 lakh or less, the report added.
The new rules, according to NDTV, will be applicable from 1 May and may include the Patidar community that have accelerated the protests by demanding affirmative action. The new quota will add to the existing 49.5 per cent reservation for minorities in the state. Even as this exceeds the reservation limit of 50 percent set by the Supreme Court, the state government said it will "fight it" out legally as it is "serious" on the issue. It is to be noted that the state already offers 50 percent reservation to SC/STs and OBCs.
In a report by PTI, BJP state president Vijay Rupani said that "a notification will be issued on the Gujarat state formation day on 1 May," and "EBCs among general category will be able to take the benefit of the reservation in education and jobs from the next academic year".
According to Zee News, the government had taken this step after the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti and Sardar Patel Group announced the launch of a major ''jail bharo andolan'' to agitate for reservation. The report adds that the chief minister, in the recent past, held a meeting with a committee of ministers helmed by Health Minister Nitin Patel, where this plan by these two major groups mentioned above were discussed and strategies to tackle their initiatives were discussed.
This movement was led by the controversial Hardik Patel, who gathered around 6 lakh people to press for the inclusion of the Patels in the OBC pool of reservation. The announcement comes amid ongoing protests for reservations in jobs by the members of Patel community.
With inputs from Agencies