As the Gujjars have hit the streets again agitating for quotas, the state of Rajasthan has once again become a political theatre of the absurd helmed by the Congress government. On February 08, 2019, when reporters asked the Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to comment on the agitation, instead of clarifying and offering concrete solutions, he seemed to obfuscate and deflect the subject onto the Central government.
A Repeat of the Theatre of the Absurd: Played Out Merely 2-3 Days Ago
- Notably just three days back, when reporters had asked Mr Gehlot on Gurjar reservation, Mr Gehlot avoided the question by passing the microphone to the Deputy CM Sachin Pilot who looked equally bewildered.
- What followed was an even bizarre exchange between the top two functionaries of the state government about who should take that question. In the end Pilot managed to weakly retrieve the situation by stuttering a few vague lines about commitment to the 5 percent reservation for Gurjars and removal of any legal hurdles that were there.
- Mr Pilot then had also sought to shift the responsibility on the Central government alluding to the 10 percent reservation for General Category people.
Abdication of Responsibility
- For a sitting minister to say that the Centre needs to do something for people mostly living in his state, the Chief Minister’s response amounts to nothing short of abdication of responsibility.
- As regards his claims about the state government having already done things which was feasible, it is instructive to note that it was the BJP government under Vasundhara Raje Scindia which had issued orders last year saying that five castes, including Gujjars were entitled to receive 21 per cent reservations under the category of Other Backward Class (OBC), along with 1 per cent quota as Most Backward Class (MBC).
Therefore, throwing the ball back into the court of the Central government, Mr Gehlot has said that the Centre needs to come up with some amendment on the lines of the amendment made for reservation for General Category people recently. Ultimately, he has sought to play the typical political game of creating confusion in the minds of the people while shifting responsibility onto the Central government.