The union social justice minister Ramdas Athawale said that the Patidars in Gujarat cannot be given the Other Backward Classes (OBC) but they can be given reservation in a separate category, during his visit to Ahmedabad.
The minister in a press conference “In my opinion they cannot be included in the OBC category, but they can be given reservation under a separate category.”
In 2015, Gujarat saw a widespread protest by the Patidar community, demanding quota in government jobs and education.
Ahead of the State’s Assembly elections which are due next year, the two main sub-castes of the community recently joined hands.
“From the outset we have been demanding a law to give reservation to Marathas in Maharashtra, Patidars in Gujarat, Jats in Haryana and UP and Rajputs in Rajasthan, provided the beneficiary’s (annual) income is under Rs 8 lakh,” said Athawale.
He also said that the central government’s decision to amend Article 342 (A) of the Constitution for restoring the power of states to identify Socially and Economically Backward Classes will help Marathas and Patidars get reservation.