"The decision of Congress to provide reservation to Jats in Central government jobs is a conspiracy... Ignoring the demand of SP government to include 17 backward castes in SC category, the decision was based on divide and rule policy of Congress.
    
"They want different castes to fight among themselves," Uttar Pradesh Mining Minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati told reporters. Prajapati is taking out a rath yatra to press for the demand of inclusion of 17 backward castes in the SC category.
    
The move was seen in the backdrop of Muzaffarnagar riots as Jats did not qualify criteria for reservation, the minister said. A Group of Ministers (GoM) set up to deal with the Jat reservation issue has already made its recommendations to the Union Cabinet.
    
"The GoM has left the decision of granting backward status to Jats on the wisdom of the Cabinet. It has not taken a decision," a senior government functionary had said on Tuesday.
    
After the recent Muzaffarnagar riots, there has been a feeling in the Congress that Jats are tilting towards the BJP, sources said. Even Union minister and RLD chief Ajit Singh is learnt to be in favour of weaning away Jats- his core vote bank- from the BJP, they said.
    
At present, Jats are designated as OBCs in some states like Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. They get the benefit of reservation in jobs in these states. Jats have been demanding for many decades that this facility be extended to Central government jobs.
    
The community members had even carried out blockade of highways and railway tracks in the recent past to press for their demand. If granted backward status, they would share job reservation from within the 27 percent granted to other backward classes.

(Agencies)

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