Stepping up pressure on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot, Congress MP from Dausa on Sunday led a multi-party delegation to senior BJP and Congress leaders seeking their intervention to resolve the crisis over Gujjars' demand for Scheduled Tribe status.
"I met (BJP president) Rajnath Singh and Congress leaders Motilal Vora, Janardhan Dwivedi, Ahmed Patel and BK Hariprasad and urged them to take immediate steps to ensure that the issue is resolved amicably and that Gujjars' demand is met," Pilot told IANS.
The meeting comes close on the heels of a Gujjar Mahasangh deciding to call for Delhi shutdown on Monday.
The Gujjars have been demanding the tribal status to benefit from the educational and government job quota. Their agitation took a violent turn on Tuesday as 14 people were killed in clashes with police and police firing. The toll rose to 25 by Friday evening though the situation in the state has been relatively peaceful since.
Pilot said the entire agitation by the Gujjars had no "political motives to it and was an agitation by the community members who felt that they were not being given their due".
"My delegation comprised of MPs and legislators from the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and independents who represent the Gujjars and want the community to be included in the Scheduled Tribe category," Pilot said.
The delegation alleged the Vasundhara Raje government had "failed" in controlling the situation and "lost the faith of people" and sought stern measures from the central government to bring peace to the strife-hit state.
"We urged the BJP president to take the political initiative to control the situation in Rajasthan where an atmosphere of violence and terror is prevailing. Normalcy must be restored in the state," said the young parliamentarian.
He said the standoff can be resolved only through political intervention and asked the BJP central leadership to impress upon the state government to take steps to find an amicable solution.
While Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader from Delhi who was part of the delegation, said they asked Rajnath Singh to replace Vasundhara Raje, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said no such issue was discussed in the meeting, which took place at the BJP headquarters.