The stalemate between the agitating Gujjars and the Rajasthan government continued on Saturday as both sides insisted on their choice of venue for talks.
Colonel KS Bainsala, convener of the Gujjar Sangharsh Aarakshan Samiti (pro-reservation front), wrote a letter to the state government on Saturday morning saying that the Gujjars were ready for talks in Bayana in Bharatpur district, where the community has been holding protests for over a fortnight demanding Scheduled Tribe status.
Rejecting the offer, the Vasundhara Raje government said talks could only be held in state capital Jaipur. Responding to this, Bainsala told television channels in Bayana that talks could only be held there and said the state government was only “increasing opposition” by insisting on Jaipur as the talks venue.
Bainsala’s offer came after some of the Gujjar leaders from across the country met to frame a charter of demands on which talks were to be held with the state government. While Bainsla has maintained that the talks must be held only in Bayana, 160 km east of here, community leaders were likely to take a formal decision in response to the government stand.
On Thursday, Bainsala had said the Gujjars were ready for talks with the government. He was responding to a proposal from the government for a dialogue to resolve the issue. For the 16th consecutive day, the Gujjars continued their agitation affecting trains and vehicular traffic on highways passing through the desert state.
(With agency inputs)