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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot deflects Gujjar quota protest to PM Modi

Gujjar community is demanding five per cent quota in jobs and education in Rajasthan.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2019 16:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
CM Ashok Gehlot in a meeting at PCC on Sunday. Photo:-HT
CM Ashok Gehlot in a meeting at PCC on Sunday. Photo:-HT

A section of the Gujjar community is on the streets in Rajasthan blocking roads and railway lines demanding five per cent reservation in jobs and education. Sawai Madhopur is the epicentre of the protests leading to cancellation of four trains in the Kota division and diversion of more than a dozen others. Reaching out to the protesters, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday asked them to address their concerns to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Their demands (for reservation in jobs and education) can only be met after amendments in the constitution, so they should submit a memo to PM,” news agency ANI quoted Gehlot as saying. The Rajasthan chief minister appealed to the Gujjar community to vacate the railway lines.

The protesters from the Gujjar community erected tents on the railway tracks disrupting movement of the trains. They occupied the tracks near Malarna Dungaar station in Maksudanpura village of Sawai Madhopur district.

“We have a good Chief Minister and a good Prime Minister. (But) We want that they listen to the demands of the Gujjar community. It isn’t an uphill task for them to provide reservation,” the news agency quoted one of the protesters as saying.

The Gujjars had staged a ‘rasta-roko’ dharna on Friday in Sawai Madhopur stating that they were promised implementation of five per cent reservation by the state government. The protests are being held under the banner of the Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (GASS) led by Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla.

The Rajasthan government, in October last year, had passed a bill providing for raising the quota for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) from 21 per cent to 26 per cent. Two months later, in December 2018, the state government approved one per cent quota for Gujjars and four additional OBCs.

At present, these communities are getting one per cent separate reservation under the legal limit of 50 per cent reservation meant for the most-backwards category in addition to OBC reservation.

(With ANI inputs)