Dropping his initial reluctance, Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla, leader of the Gujjar agitation for grant of scheduled tribe status to their community, agreed on Sunday to travel to Jaipur and hold talks with the Vasundhara Raje government. At the same time two more MLAs belonging to the Meena community quit their assembly seats to bring further pressure on the government not to concede the Gujjars’ demand.
Former minister and BJP leader Kirori Lal Meena had resigned his assembly seat on Saturday.
BJP leader Ramdas Agarwal, who heads the government delegation set up to hold talks with the Gujjars told HT that he had been informed that Col Bainsla would arrive in Jaipur soon.
Agarwal insisted that no concrete formula had been offered to Bainsla as yet.
Earlier in the day, two Gujjar leaders —Delhi NCP MLA Rambir Singh Biduri and Sardar Singh Dhankar — had flown down by helicopter to Bayana to persuade him to participate in the talks. At first Bainsla refused to oblige them. “He insisted that a one-line letter recommending ST status for Gujjars be sent by the state government first to the centre,” Captain H.P.S. Tanwar, a close confidant of Bainsla’s told HT. “Only then could meaningful talks be held.” Bainsla was later persuaded to change his mind.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Kanhaiya Lal Meena, from Bassi in Jaipur district and Kanti Parsad Meena, an independent from Thanagazi in Alwar district, who supports the BJP, submitted their resignations to Vidhan Sabha speaker Sumitra Singh.
Three earlier rounds of dialogue between the Gujjars and government, have so far failed to resolve the conflict.