In a major U-turn, Vijay Rupani led BJP Government in Gujarat has suspended the implementation of 10 per cent quota for the Economically Backward Class(EBC) until further notice.
On August 4, the Gujarat High Court had described 10 per cent quota for the EBC as “unconstitutional”. The state government had thereafter approached the Supreme Court.
Through a circular received by the media late on September 23 evening, the state government informed that it has stayed the implementation of the 10 per cent quota.
Earlier this year, the previous state government headed by Anandiben Patel had announced the reservation to pacify the Patidar (Patel) community that has been agitating since July 2015 for reservation under the EBC quota.
Though announcement was of the state government, it was made by Rupani, then the state BJP president. The decision to grant 10 per cent quota for EBC was taken at a high level meeting in party’s state headquarter Shree Kamalam in Gandhinagar. National party president Amit Shah was also present at the meeting.
The Patidars, however, had rejected the reservation then as well, terming it as “lollipop”.
Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel, who is in Jaipur as per the directive of the Gujarat High Court, has reacted to the development and said that the state government has made mockery of three crore people of Gujarat, who could have benefitted from the quota.
Questioning as to who would refund the fees of those admitted under the EBC quota, Hardik has said that the people of Gujarat would not forgive the government.
He warned that it (the BJP) should be prepared to face the consequences.
Senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil flayed the BJP government and said that the EBC quota was introduced without conducting any scientific survey. Had it been introduced after undertaking a survey, the result would have been different.
When the Gujarat High Court described the quota as “unconstitutional”, sources had said that Anandiben was not in the favour of allowing this reservation as senior lawyers and bureaucrats had warned her that it would not stand the test in the court of law. The grapevine was that Shah had prevailed in the decision making.