Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, the government tonight decided to include the Jat community in the central list of OBCs in nine states, a move that is expected to benefit about nine crore people from the community.
The decision would pave the way for the community members to avail benefits of reservation in central government jobs and central education institutions as per the existing norms.
"Union Cabinet today approved the inclusion of the Jat community in the Central list of OBCs for the states of Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and the National capital territory of Delhi," I&B Minister Manish Tewari told reporters.
An approximate number of nine crore Jats are living in nine states -- Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Bihar.
It is widely believed that inclusion of Jats in the central list of OBCs would benefit the Congress electorally, at a time when general elections are round the corner.
The Cabinet had earlier asked the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to expeditiously take a call on the issue, following which it had conducted public hearing in the nine states.
NCBC had in 2011 rejected demands for reservation to the community at the central level, following which the Cabinet had asked to reconsider its decision.
Union minister Ajit Singh welcomed the government's decision while Olympian Krishna Punia said the move will specially be beneficial to the community members living in the rural areas.