Quota row: Gujarat govt to challenge HC order, Hardik welcomes verdict

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Government on Thursday said it will move the Supreme Court against the High Court order quashing an ordinance on 10 per cent quota for economically backward classes, while Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel welcomed the verdict and vowed to continue the stir for quota under OBC category.

Health minister and spokesperson of Gujarat government Nitin Patel said they will stick to the provision of EBC quota and challenge the HC order in apex court as soon as possible.

“When we have announced the 10 per cent EBC reservation, our government had clearly stated that we will stick to this provision of EBC quota in any situation. Thus, we will file an appeal in the Supreme Court against today’s order by High Court, which rejected this quota today,” said Patel.

The quota had been announced to pacify the numerically and socially strong Patel community following violent protests led by Hardik Patel and Lalji Patel demanding reservation in education and government jobs under the OBC category.

Reacting to the HC order, Hardik said, “The court had clearly said that EBC quota was unconstitutional. We welcome the order, as we always wanted reservation as per the Constitution.”

“Thus, our agitation for reservation under OBC quota will continue till we get justice,” said Patel through a video message from Udaipur, Rajasthan. He was directed to stay out of Gujarat for six months by the high court while being granted bail in a sedition case last month.

The Gujarat High Court today quashed state government’s ordinance notifying 10 per cent quota for economically backward class among the unreserved category. It is a setback to the Gujarat Government which had announced the reservation to placate the agitating Patel community.

Terming the May 1 quota ordinance as inappropriate and unconstitutional a division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi, observed that 10 per cent reservation for poor among the unreserved category takes the total quota beyond 50 per cent, which is not permitted as per the Supreme Court’s earlier decision.

The High court also said that state government gave the reservation to EBCs without any study or scientific data.

The state government pleader had requested the court to stay its order so that they can approach Supreme Court, following which the HC issued a two-week stay on its order.