With talks between Gujjars and the Rajasthan government on the reservation issue collapsing, Gujjar leader Kiroisingh Bainsla along with hundreds of his supporters today began a march from Karauli district to Jaipur in support of their demands.
Bainsla, who is spearheading the stir for quota for the community in the state started his march from Hindon, around 300 km from Jaipur, Roop Singh, a spokesman of the Rajasthan Gujjar Arkashan Sangarsh Saimti, told PTI.
"We have launched our march with at least 10,000 supporters from the college ground, our first stoppage would be at Timara village, 10 km from Hindon on the Mahua-Jaipur highway," he said.
"It would be a peaceful agitation, and no one from our side will indulge in any violence or sit on rail tracks," he said.
Karauli District Collector Neeraj K Pawan and SP Mahendra Singh Choudhary said all security arrangements have been made to ensure that the march is peaceful.
Two rounds of talks between a Gujjar delegation and Rajasthan government emissaries -- Energy Minister Jitendra Singh and Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal -- failed to break the impasse last night and Gujjar leaders staged a walkout.
Gujjar leaders Roop Singh and Harprasad, who participated in the talks with the government, told reporters that the Gehlot government "had not done any homework" despite the Gujjars deferring their agitation by 12 days and did not even take legal advice from experts.
"We will go back to Hindon to follow the instructions of Kirori Singh Bainsla who already has given an ultimatum to the government to resolve the impasse," they had said.
"The Gehlot government has no willpower to address our demands and wants to keep them hanging in balance for ever," they said.
Jitendra Singh told the media that the talks were abruptly stopped due to the "Gujjar leaders" and "we will try our best to find a solution".
"A decision to provide 5 per cent quota to Gujjars and three other communities -- Banjara, Gardia Luhar and Rebari cannot be taken in five minutes. The case is pending in the (Rajasthan) High Court. We are trying to keep communication with Bainsla who is in Hindon," the minister said.
Earlier, Bainsla accused the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government of vacillating on the issue of 5 per cent reservation for Gujjars in jobs and threatened to intensify the agitation if their demand was not met by today.
"If a written agreement providing jobs for the community is not reached by Tuesday morning, the protesters will do anything including staging a march to Jaipur from Hindon," he had said.
The Rajasthan Gujjar Arkashan Sangarsh Samiti is on a sit-in demanding five per cent quota for the community in state government jobs.