The Rajasthan government has invited for talks Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, who is demanding a 5 per cent quota in state jobs for his community.
A CMO spokesman said, on Sunday night that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has invited the Gujjar leader for talks to resolve the matter and the message has been communicated to Bainsla, who is leading a march on the issue, through the District Collector of Karauli Neeraj K Pawan.
Energy Minister Jitender Singh, who is the government intermediary in the matter, also appealed to the Gujjars to maintain peace and harmony in the state.
Amid tight security, hundreds of Gujjars led by Bainsla took out their march from Gudla village, 400 km from Jaipur, on Sunday afternoon.
Authorities made tight security arrangements with thousands of armed policemen, including RAC jawans, being deployed on either side of the highway, he said.
Bainsla had last month decided to undertake a march to Jaipur if the Gujjars' demand for reservation was not met by March 26. However, it was postponed following government's invitation to hold talks.
Bainsla had said, on Saturday that the deadline of April 1 for Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to fulfil the promise he made on quota for Gujjars had expired.
"As the entire quota bill was stayed in the High Court, the Gehlot government has assured to take care of the community by reserving 5 per cent vacant seats for us," Bainsla said.
Gujjars had held a sit-in demanding 5 per cent reservation for especially backward classes (Gujjars, Banjara, Gadia Luhar, Raika and Rebari) on March 23 at Gazipur in Dausa district.
Nearly 70 people were killed in violent agitations in 2007-08 on the issue of quota for Gujjars.