HAVING failed to deliver the promises. which he and his Congress Party had made during the assembly elections, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, off late has acquired the habit to blame BJP when ever things went wrong in the state. He is doing to divert the people’s attention to the failure of his government.
The latest one is about the current round of agitation by Gujjars, who are seeking five per cent reservation in government jobs, which Gehlot had promised in an agreement with Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti.
At the height of agitation, Gehlot said, BJP leaders, including Vasundhara Raje, former Chief Minister and now national general secretary of the party, had hatched a conspiracy during the wedding of party president Nitin Gadkari’s son in Nagpur, to put the state on fire, by instigating the Gujjar leaders to turn their agitation violent.
While making this allegation, in the same breath Gehlot said that, he had no evidence to prove this allegation.
On December 20, when Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, re-launched its agitation, Gehlot, instead of finding the solution to the problem, said BJP, during its rule came out with a faulty piece of legislation and his government was bearing its brunt. But facts are otherwise.
In July 2008, after a prolonged Gujjar agitation, than BJP government entered into an agreement with Gujjar leaders to end the problem and to fulfill its promise to give them reservation, which party had made in 2003 assembly elections.
Accordingly, it brought a bill in the assembly. The bill provided five per cent special reservation to Gujjars, along with three other most backward communities of Rebaris, Banjaras and Gadia Lohars. It also provided 14 per cent reservation to economically backward upper castes.
In the assembly, government said that after passing of the bill it would urged the center to include this act in the 9th schedule of the Constitution, which is beyond the preview of Supreme Court. This was necessary because with this new 19 per cent reservation, total reservation in the state would go up 68 per cent, where as under the Constitution, reservation could not acceded from 50 per cent.
Congress Party not only supported the legislation but also assured the Gujjar leaders that it would impressed upon the Congress lead UPA government at the center to include the bill in the 9th schedule.
But while making this promise Congress leaders were not honest on this issue. They did not wanted that credit to give reservation to Gujjars and others should not go to BJP. At that time SK Singh, a Congress appointee, was the governor of the state. They quietly persuaded him not to put his seal on the bill.
In 2008 assembly elections, somehow Congress was able to gain power in the state. Gujjar leaders were sure that since Congress Party had supported the reservation bill, now it would urge the governor to give his nod to the bill. But when this did not happened for about one year, Gujjars again started their agitation to put a pressure on the government to make this bill a law by getting the accent of the governor.
Gehlot told the Gujjars that his government would bring a legislation for reservation to them. But within few days Gehlot realised that he had no option as the bill passed during the previous BJP government was very much within the provisions of the Constitution. So he went to the governor to sign the same.
Gujjar leaders called off their agitation as they were sure that now Gehlot government would persue the Center, where there was again a Congress led UPA government, to initiate steps to include the act in the 9th schedule, so the same could not be challenged in the courts.
But Gehlot did nothing to press the center. Meanwhile, Rajasthan High Court, while admitting a petition, stayed the act by saying that under the provisions, reservation could not go beyond 50 per cent, whereas with the implementation of the act it would go up to 68 per cent.
Frustrated Gujjars again started their agitation. After a long spell of agitation, Gehlot government entered into yet another agreement with Gujjars, which provided one per cent special reservation to Gujjars. It said that government was within its right to give this one per cent reservation as by giving this one per cent, over all reservation would stay within permissible limit of 50 per cent. It also said that government would keep remaining four per cent post as notional, till High Court decide the matter finally.
But on December 22 Rajasthan High Court further stayed the act for one year.
It put the entire blame on the government for this. It said that the act was made without preparing a case for reservation. It directed the government that during this one year, it should undertake a survey on the social and economic backwardness of the Gujjars to establish the genuineness for reservation of jobs for them.
But instead of undertaking the survey, Gehlot government has started blaming the BJP for wrong legislation and supporting the Gujjar agitation to put his government at the tight spot.