Logical to consider farmers as category for reservations, says Sharad Pawar and promises to discuss issue with experts, lawyers

Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said some people suggested him the idea to have reservation in jobs and education for "farmers" and he would discuss the issue with experts and lawyers.

He said it was "logical" to consider farmers as a category for reservation.

The former Union agriculture minister's statement came against the backdrop of the controversy over his remarks against caste-based reservation.

"Reservation is already there for SCs/STs and OBCs. Now, I have received a request from some people in Maharashtra that if 'farmer' category is added to the existing categories, it would be helpful to those who felt left out of reservation policy," Pawar told reporters.

File image of Sharad Pawar. PTI

File image of Sharad Pawar. PTI

"Once I go to Delhi, I will discuss it with some officials, including experts from the social justice department, and senior lawyers. Before that, I do not want to make any statement," he said.

The NCP leader had last week said, "This (reservation) is a sensitive issue. Dalits and Adivasis should be given reservation, there is no problem with it... People of other castes are holding rallies for reservation." "I clearly believe reservation should not be given based on caste, but to people who are financially backward," the former Maharashtra chief minister had said drawing criticism from certain quarters.

Referring to the ordinance of the Congress-NCP government issued just before the 2014 assembly elections offering reservation to Marathas and Muslims, he today said, "The Rajasthan government has decided to offer some reservation to the Jats most of whom are from agricultural background."

"Hence, I think it is logical to consider farmers as a category for reservation," Pawar said.

He disapproved of the Maharashtra government's decision to close down some primary and secondary schools in remote areas due to low student enrolment, saying, "I do not like this decision as it would keep some students away from schools and education. It is certainly not in favour of the poor."

To a question, Pawar said his party has decided to renominate its Pune-based leader Vandana Chavan for Rajya Sabha polls to be held in March.

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Updated Date: Feb 28, 2018 07:40:15 IST

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