The Gujarat government on Tuesday said it will study and rectify any discrepancy that exists in a 2018 circular regarding reservation for women in recruitment in the Lok Rakshak Dal (LRD) which has triggered a protest from female aspirants from reserved categories.
Women from reserved categories are staging a protest for more than two months now at Gandhinagar's Satyagrah Chhavni, demanding the controversial circular be scrapped as it prevents them from competing with women candidates from the open category, where the cut off marks are lower.
The LRD is an arm of the Gujarat police.
They say the circular is against the spirit of reservation. Since 2014, women have enjoyed 33 per cent quota in Gujarat police jobs.
The agitating women, in 2019, appeared for competitive examination for the posts of LRD (police constable). LRD constables are given a fixed wage for five years after which their appointment is confirmed.
Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja Tuesday told reporters the government has taken note of representations made before Chief Minister Vijay Rupani by the protesting women candidates from SC, ST and OBC categories.
The government has decided to review and amend the contentious circular issued by the General Administration Department on August 1, 2018, he said.
"After representations made by BJP leaders and some ministers, the government has decided to remove the possible discrepancy in the GR dated August 1, 2018.
"We have decided to review and rectify it. The BJP government is committed to safeguard reservations provided to SC/ST/OBC communities under the Constitution. Within a few days we will implement the decision," Jadeja said.
"Our ministers and BJP leaders met the women aspirants protesting at Satyagrah Chhavni and told them we have decided to rectify the notification, and hence they should end the protest," he said.
The home minister attacked the Congress, saying its leaders want the protest to continue "to fulfil their political aspirations".
The main opposition party, on the other hand, said it will not sit quiet till the BJP government scraps the controversial circular.
The government's decision to review the circular came on the day when three Congress MLAs announced they will sit on a three-day fast with the protesting women.
"The government does not care about the protesters even when they stake their life to fight for their rights. We would like the government and the chief minister to clarify what was wrong in the circular that they need to rectify.
"We demand that the government scrap it because it is unconstitutional," state Congress president Amit Chavda said.
As per the GR, women from socio-economic reserved categories cannot compete with female aspirants from the open category for government jobs.
The protesters have argued that the cut off marks of women from the open category is much lower than that of reserved category women. This, they said, curtails their chances of qualification for such jobs.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)