The Gujarat government on Friday reportedly announced 10 percent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the economically backward class (EBC) of the general category. The Patidar community, which was demanding quota under Other Backward Classes (OBC), may also be included in this category.
Families earning less than Rs. 6 lakh per annum will benefit from the new reservation policy, notification for which will be issued on May 1, Deccan Chronicle quoted Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel as saying.
The EBC quota is not applicable to people from Schedules Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC), who already enjoy 49 percent reservation. Upper-class communities like Patidars, Brahmins, Kshtriyas and Lohana will be eligible for the new quota, Hindustan Times reported.
The Patel community started its reservation agitation in Ahmedabad in August last year under the leadership of 22-year-old Hardik Patel and with the support of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti.
The protests, which spread to other parts of the country later, turned violent on several occasions and have escalated in the last few months. Although Patidars initially demanded reservation under OBC category, they recently agreed to an EBC quota.
"Our demand is quota under Economically Backward Class (EBC) because 60 percent of the Patidar families are economically or financially backward. This demand of the community is genuine and is based on ground reality," the Hindu quoted Dinesh Kumbhani, a trustee of the Patel community's Khodal Dham Trust, as saying.