JAIPUR: After the controversial decision announced by MP Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan to reserve all government jobs for the bonafide citizens of Madhya Pradesh only, a senior BJP leader is pressing for a similar move in Rajasthan.
Vasudev Devnani, a controversial minister of the earlier Vasundhra Raje cabinet, wants the present Congress government to act accordingly so as to “safeguard the interests of the youth of Rajasthan”.
Devnani said he would raise this issue in the state legislature for discussion since “MP, Bihar, Maharashtra, and several other states have fixed quotas for the locals” and, as such, “Rajasthan government too must do justice to the aspirations of its young citizens”.
Though the Constitution specifically prohibits discrimination based on place of birth, the Supreme Court has held domicile reservation - especially in educational institutions as a valid and just requirement as per constitutional provisions. However, courts have been averse to extending such reservations to public employment, as they violate Article 16 (2) of the constitution that prohibits any discrimination of a citizen on grounds of race, religion, caste, sex, descent, place of birth or residence.
Informed sources say that job seekers from Rajasthan have seen opportunities dwindling for them on account of over 15 states resorting to impositions like the necessity of being a domicile, knowledge of the local language or dialect, or graduating from local institutions, while the doors to employment are open without restrictions in Rajasthan.
The percentage of reservations quotas in the desert state stands at present at 16% reservation for SC, 12% for ST, 21% for OBC, 10% for EWS and 5% for MBC, while 36% seats are available in the general category which is also open to applicants from outside the state.
As applicants from outside the state are only required to have a working knowledge of Hindi and there is no way to test their knowledge of local culture, it does curtail opportunities of employment for local youth.
Rajasthan Ekikrat Berozgaar Mahasangh has been agitating for a ban on employing non-Rajasthanis in state government for quite some time but to no avail. Its state president Upen Yadav says that “the CM office had written for an answer on our demands from the Personnel Department but to date, nothing has happened.”
While many opine that some curbs will come in the light of the steps announced by various states in the recent future, yet the Congress government has not uttered any views on the subject. The state Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra has dubbed the present BJP move as an antic to woo the voters for the impending elections to 27 state constituencies.
In a sarcastic vein, Dotasra pointed out that "from Modi to Shivraj, their utterances are geared to lure voters with empty promises. We shall see when the state gazette carries the notification". Dotasra added that while Congress was sympathetic to the woes of the job seekers, "everything had to be done within the provisions and statutes of the Constitution" and empty rhetoric for electoral gains is an old trick of BJP to cheat people. "Why didn’t Devnani implement this in his five-year tenure," he asked.