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Gujjars want 18 MLAs in Rajasthan barred

Governor Pratibha Patil has been urged to disqualify the Rajasthan MLAs for their involvement in the agitation.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2007 17:29 IST

Rajasthan Governor Pratibha Patil has been petitioned to disqualify 18 Rajasthan legislators, including four ministers, for their alleged involvement in the Gujjar agitation that rocked the state earlier this month.

In a petition filed under Article 192 of the constitution, Jaipur resident Kashi Purohit has alleged that the legislators, as also some central and state ministers, had openly supported the caste war that erupted after the Gujjars demanded the status of a tribe, which the Meena community hotly opposed.

The petition stated that the legislators had breached their oath of office by openly fuelling the Gujjar agitation and provoking the mobs to damage government properties.

"Our petition has been accepted by the governor on Friday", Purohit's counsel Abhinav Sharma said on Saturday.

Requesting the governor to refer the matter to the Election Commission as stipulated under the Constitution, Purohit urged her to declare the 18 legislators ineligible and announce bye-elections in their constituencies.

"The 18 MLAs, 13 of the Bharatiya Janta Party, three of the Congress party, one of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party and one independent had threatened to resign from the public office. By doing so they have breached their oath. They should thus be disqualified," Purohit said in his petition.

The petition also names of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Kalu Lal Gurjar, Women and Child Development and Tribal Development Minister Kanak Mal Katara, Food and Supplies Minister Kirori Lal Meena and Minister of State for Finance Virendra Meena.

Gujjars, who are presently classified as other backward caste (OBC), had launched violent protests May 29-June 4 demanding tribal status for better job and educational opportunities.

The agitation had completely paralysed Rajasthan for a week with major roads blocked and train services disrupted. At least 25 people were killed and hundreds injured in the violence.

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