Chandigarh, March 17: Hours after Supreme court quashed the reservation for Jats on Tuesday, leaders in Haryana reacted sharply over the issue.
Leaders of various parties said they would first examine the apex court judgment before making any observation."Our government (in Haryana) will examine the Supreme Court decision. Only then we will be able to say something," said Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu, who presented his maiden budget in the assembly on Tuesday.
He said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) believed in allowing reservation for those who were socially and economically lagging.
Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala said he would comment only after studying the Supreme Court order.
UPA government had announced reservation
The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed the March 4, 2014 notification by the then UPA government extending OBC reservation to Jats in nine states.
An apex court bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said: "We can't agree that politically organised Jats are backward class so as to be entitled to OBC reservation."
The court gave this decision on a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the reservation. The petitioners had contended that as Jats were politically and socially advanced, so they didn't qualify to avail reservations. They had argued that the UPA's decision to extend reservation to Jats was politically and electorally motivated.
The UPA government had announced reservation for Jats on the eve of general elections held in May 2014. Ironically, the Narendra Modi government too backed the UPA decision to extend OBC reservation to Jats saying that it was not inspired by electoral considerations but a bonafide decision in public interest.
Jat leaders in shock
Meanwhile, Jat leaders in Rajasthan expressed shock after SC quashed the extension of OBC reservation to the community. Jats account for 14-15 percent of the state's population.
"We are shocked. Though I have not gone through the judgement, Jats are synonymous with farmers and I feel farmers are backward and deserve to get reservation," prominent Jat leader Gyanparakash Pilania said.
"I think the case most probably has not been put forward in the proper way before the Supreme Court," added Pilania, a former director general of the Rajasthan Police.
"It is the duty of the central government to file a review petition," he said.
Jats are classified as Other Backward Class (OBC) in Rajasthan.
Congress leader Rameshwar Dudi, leader of the opposition in the assembly, insisted that Jats were "really backward" in Rajasthan.
"They deserve to get reservation. I am strongly of the opinion that the central government should file a review petition at the earliest," he said.
Echoing similar views, Rajaram Meel, another Jat leader, said: "It is a bad phase for the community...
"The governments both at the centre and the state are with us, and we hope the community will soon get the OBC status it deserves," he said.
(with inputs from agencies)