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Gujjar leaders fear caste war

india Updated: Jun 04, 2007 01:40 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
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Gujjar MPS and MLAs cutting across political lines called on Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress leaders on Sunday to convey their fear of a huge caste war, pointing to incidents of arson and looting of food articles meant for their community.

Led by Congress MP from Dausa Sachin Pilot, the team called on BJP president Rajnath Singh and Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Janardhan Dwivedi and Motilal Vohra at the All India Congress Committee. Without mincing words, they alleged the Vasundhara Raje government had “failed” to control the situation and “lost the faith of the people”. They sought stern measures by the Centre to bring peace.

The delegation included Sachin's mother Rama Pilot, Narendra Singh Bhati of the Samajwadi Party, Congress MP Avtar Singh Bhadana, Independent MLA Sukhbir Singh Jonpuria, BJP MLA Dayanand Chandila, NCP MLA Ramvir Singh Bidhuri and Nawab Singh Nagar. "We urged the BJP president to take the political initiative to control the situation. Normalcy must be restored in the state," Sachin told reporters.

Rajnath, on his part, said the problem was not of a single party but concerned all parties. Bidhuri said they had asked Rajnath to replace Raje but BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said no such issue was discussed at the meeting at BJP headquarters. Bidhuri said the delegation had asked the Congress leadership to impose President's rule in Rajasthan.

"The government of the day must fulfil its duties. The government in Rajasthan is responsible for the situation, not only in the state but outside as the unrest is spreading... It must get its act together," said Sachin.

"The fire will spread. Our villages are being burnt, men attacked and women raped and the state government is not doing anything," said Bhadana.

Central BJP leaders said they were pushing for an early breakthrough in talks between the Raje government and Gujjar leaders. They also sought to cap speculation over Raje's future, saying the prime task was to restore normalcy. But they did say the CM should seize the initiative as time was running out.

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