Several states have been ahead as far as giving reservation to Jats in government jobs is concerned. There are about eight crore Jats in the country.
Though the Jats are not included in the Central Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category, nine states have included them on their OBC lists and thus, they are enjoying the fruits of reservation in government jobs in Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan (Bharatpur and Dhaulpur), Uttarakhand, UP and Delhi.
In UP, Jats comprise less than 6% of the population. The BJP’s Ram Prakash Gupta-led coalition government extended reservations to Jats in 2000. In the “Harit Pradesh” belt, Jats and Muslims together constitute about 58% of the population. This region has 45 Assembly constituencies. Last year, the Supreme Court scrapped reservation on the Central OBC list for the Jat community by the previous UPA government in nine states. The UPA government had notified Jats on the Central OBC list in these nine states, just before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, by ignoring the advice of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to keep the Jat community away from reservation benefits.
However, the present NDA supported the UPA government in the Supreme Court. The Centre contended that the Cabinet rejected the NCBC advice and took into account the findings of an expert committee constituted by the Indian Council for Social Science and Research before taking the decision. The NCBC, in its report, had said that the Jat community had not fulfilled the criteria for inclusion on the Central list of OBCs. It also noted that Jats were not socially or educationally backward. The Commission also rejected the claim of “inadequate representation in public employment,” finding them adequately represented in the armed forces, government services and education institutions.
A highly-placed source in NCBC said: “There was a public hearing in which it was felt that the situation of the Jat community has improved because of reservation in states.” The source, however, said that there was “political pressure” from P. Chidambaram, who was heading the Group of Ministers to look into the Jat reservation issue, and also from Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Ajit Singh. However, the commission rejected the idea of giving reservations to Jats.