3 J&K reservation bills among 32 listed in Monsoon session

OBCs to get reservation, Jats included

ST for Paharis, others; SC for Valmikis

The Parliament will take up 32 bills in its Monsoon session from July 20 to August 11 including three pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir for granting reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Paharis and Valmikis.

All these legislations were earlier scheduled to be taken up in a budget session of the Parliament.

However, they couldn’t be listed due to massive uproar on almost all days by both treasury benches as well as Opposition parties.

Officials told the Excelsior that there will be a total of 17 sittings in Monsoon session of the Parliament and 32 bills are proposed to be taken up.

Three bills pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir include The Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Castes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023, The Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

The bills have been drafted by the Union Ministry for Law and Justice headed by Arjun Ram Meghwal.

The bills, as per the officials, pertained to grant of reservation to OBCs, Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Paharis and inclusion of left out Valmikis in the Scheduled Castes.

The communities will be entitled to reservation in Jammu and Kashmir once the bills are cleared by the Parliament.

Significantly, the officials said, Jats are also being included in the list of OBCs in Jammu and Kashmir along with several other communities.

Presently, there is no reservation to OBCs. Only four percent reservation has been given under Other Social Castes (OSC) category.

Reservation to OBCs, which is 27 percent at national level as well as most of the States and Union Territories, will be given taking into account population of the communities which will be designated as OBCs, the officials said.

The bill pertaining to grant of Scheduled Tribe status to Pahari Kabila which was also due to be taken up in budget session will fulfil long pending demand of the Paharis for grant of ST status. Besides, Paddari tribe and Koli & Gadda Brahmins will also get ST status.

Some Valmikis were not include as Scheduled Castes here though they enjoyed reservation as SCs in the entire country. The Government will now include all Valmikis in the SC community to entitle them for reservation in the Government jobs and educational institutions.

Reacting to introduction of three prominent legislations pertaining to grant of reservation in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP UT chief Ravinder Raina said the bills are part of Narendra Modi Government’s policy to provide justice to all sections of society.

“Our Government provided Land and Forest Rights and political reservation to Gujjars and Bakerwals. Now, Pahari Kabila will get rights along with OBCs and Valmikis. This is historical decision and will be game changer in Jammu and Kashmir,” Raina said.

Based on recommendations of Justice GD Sharma Commission report, the Government had cleared Pahari Ethnic Tribe, Paddari Tribe and Koli & Gadda Brahman for accord of ST status. All concerned Ministries and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes have already cleared the proposal.

Gujjars and Bakerwals in Jammu and Kashmir already enjoyed ST status and the Government has clarified that their rights will not be diluted.

Paddari tribe is settled mostly in Paddar area of Kishtwar district which is one of the remotest areas in erstwhile Doda district. However, Koli & Gadda Brahmans are spread in different areas.

Paharis are mostly based in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region and Baramulla and Kupwara in Kashmir division.

Nine seats in 90-member Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir have been reserved for the STs. Five seats are reserved for STs in Jammu division and four in Kashmir.

The STs enjoyed reservation in jobs, education etc, but they were denied political reservation in Jammu and Kashmir for a long time though such a reservation existed in Lok Sabha and Assemblies across the country. This was, however, after abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August 5, 2019 that the Government extended political reservations to STs in J&K.
The Scheduled Castes have eight percent reservations in the Union Territory and, for them, seven seats, like earlier, are reserved in the Legislative Assembly. However, out of five, no Lok Sabha seat in J&K is reserved.


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