With talks between Gujjars and the Rajasthan government on the reservation issue collapsing, Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, along with supporters, started a 300 km march on Tuesday from Hindon in Karauli district to Jaipur, to press their demands.
"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," said Roop Singh, spokesman of the Rajasthan Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti.
"It will be a peaceful agitation, and no one from our side will indulge in any violence or sit on rail tracks," Singh added.
Security arrangements have been made during the march said Karauli District Collector Neeraj K Pawan and SP Mahendra Singh Choudhary.
Two rounds of talks between a Gujjar delegation and Rajasthan government's Energy Minister Jitendra Singh and Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal failed last night. Gujjar leaders staged a walkout.
Gujjar leaders Roop Singh and Harprasad, who participated in the talks, said the government "had not done any homework" despite the Gujjars deferring their agitation by 12 days.
"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 said, adding, "The Gehlot government has no willpower to address our demands and wants to keep them hanging in balance for ever."
Energy Minister Jitendra Singh said that the talks stopped because of 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, Gadia Lohar and Rabari 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 had accused the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government of oscillating on the issue of 5 per cent reservation in jobs for Gujjars. He threatened to intensify the agitation if their demand was not met by Tuesday.
"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 Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti is on a sit-in demanding five per cent quota for the community in state government jobs.