Jats to play OBC quota card
Deepender Deswal, TNN | Sep 17, 2011, 05.27AM IST
ROHTAK: Jats here are looking at the Hisar by-election as an
opportunity to press ahead with their demand for getting other
backward class (OBC) status to the community members.
The Akhil Bhartiya Jat Mahasabha (ABJM), headed by Dara Singh, has
decided to support poll candidates who favour their demand for
reservation for Jats. Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (JASS), which had
resorted to blockade of railway tracks in Mayyar village of Hisar on
this issue, however, has decided against issuing any kind of appeal in
the matter even though it wants its activists to exert pressure on the
candidates and political parties to support their demand.
Om Prakash Mann, president of Haryana unit ABJM, told TOI that they
had decided to openly oppose political parties or candidates who do
not support their demand. "Although we would not issue any appeal to
support a particular candidate, we would definitely counter whoever
dares to speak against us on the quota issue. If there is more than
one candidate for OBC status to Jats, we would ask the activists to
vote to any of them as per their choice."
Mann informed that a national executive meeting to be chaired by the
national president, Dara Singh, is scheduled at Keshavpuram in Delhi
on September 18, where they could further device a clear strategy
regarding the byelection.
However, JASS has played the game tactically; with its state unit
president Hawa Singh Sangwan maintaining that his organization would
not get involved in the byelection in any way. "The Jats in the
village would definitely ask those who would come to seek votes for
their stand on the issue. It's an opportunity to take up the issue
with politicians who often indulge in doublespeak," he said.
At the same time, Sangwan admitted that the Congress government had
initiated the process by setting up an OBC commission to consider
their demand and that the samiti was also participating in it. "INLD
leader Ajay Chautala, who is a candidate in the Hisar byelection, had
also supported our demand during the agitation. Those we speak against
our demand would also lose our support," he added.
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