Talks between Gujjar leaders, CM Gehlot fail; agitation to continue
In a major setback for the two sides, the second round of talks between Gujjar delegation led by Col Kirori Singh Bainsala and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot failed to find out an amicable solution of five per cent reservation demand of the Gujjar community. KS Tomar reports.india Updated: Mar 28, 2010 14:24 IST
In a major setback for the two sides, the second round of talks between Gujjar delegation led by Col Kirori Singh Bainsala and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot failed to find out an amicable solution of five per cent reservation demand of the Gujjar community.
Now, Gujjars' Mahapadav at various places like Alwar, Ajmer, Jodhpur, Pali, Sirohi and Gazipur would continue till Col Bainsala orders them to March to Jaipur.
After emerging from the venue of the talks at the chief minister's residence, Col Bainsala told
"the talks were held in a cordial atmosphere and I discussed all major demands with chief minister who was receptive."
"I got assurances but problem will be solved only if government agrees to give 5 per cent reservation to the Gujjar community in the jobs," he said.
Col Bainsala said "there is consensus over the issues like five per cent reservation in the 80,000 jobs, withdrawal of the cases against those accused in the 2008 agitation, pension for the seriously injured Gujjars in the agitation, compensation to the kin of deceased and release of the leaders jailed during the stir for indulging in violence.
"But our agitation would continue till major demand of 5 per cent reservation is accepted by the government, he added.
Chief minister, Ghelot said "the case is sub-judice and it will be impossible to violate the law. I am ready to go to any extent to resolve current issue provided it does not adversely affect other castes."
Ghelot said "previous BJP government intentionally clubbed 5 per cent reservation for Gujjars with 14 per cent reservation for economically backward classes. The matter went to the court which has stayed it."
Gehlot categorically told the Gujjar leader Col Bainsala that it would not be possible for the government to accord more than four per cent reservation as the Rajasthan High Court had put a stay on quota beyond that limit.
However, the government was willing to plead in the high court to vacate the stay and if required besides pleading in the Supreme Court to quash it but till then its hands were tied, Gehlot informed Gujjars leaders.
Gehlot said it would be absolutely unjustified if a ban was imposed on job recruitments opened by the government for the OBC, as it would directly affect the youth of other castes like Lohar, Rabari, Gadasia and Banjaras.
Gehlot made it clear that the recruitments for the jobs was aimed at helping the unemployed youth but a final decision would be taken after the high court gave its verdict in this case.
Dr Roop Singh, senior Gujjar leader said "talks have been suspended and they have not broken as we might resume the dialogue at appropriate time." "We will decide about the next course of action after taking into confidence our people," he said.
Gujjars leaders are consulting the senior lawyers prior to opting for direct confrontation with the state government, he said.
Col Bainsala and other leaders have reached Gazipur, 161 km east of Jaipur to finalise the next strategy.
What happened on Saturday?
Col Bainsala held talks with chief minister on the issue of five per cent reservation for Gujjars after a successful preliminary dialogue between a Gujjar delegation and government representatives set the tone.
Col Bainsala first met a ministerial committee of state Power Minister Jitendra Singh, state Transport Minister Brij Kishore Sharma and state Urban Development and Housing Minister Shanti Dhariwal.
Dhariwal said after the meeting that they had focused on other demands of Gujjars like five per cent reservation in the 80,000 jobs, taking back cases against those accused in the 2008 agitation and release of those who were jailed following the agitation.
Col Bainsala and Mehraram, a Rebari leader, went to meet the chief minister at his residence in the evening. They were hopeful that a solution could be found soon.
Col Bainsala arrived at Hotel Teej in the morning and met with Rebari leaders. Bainsala said that he was fighting for the rights of not only the Gujjars but also the Rebari, Gadia Luhar and Banjara communities who have been promised five per cent reservation.
The Gujjars and government have been consulting legal experts to find a way out of the present muddle. There is a view that new bills may have to be brought into the assembly separating the five per cent reservation for Gujjars and 14 per cent for Economically Backward Classes that were clubbed together by the BJP government when the bill was passed by the assembly in 2008.
On Friday evening, Singh and Sharma had held preliminary round of talks with an 11-member delegation sent by Bainsala. Both sides said the two-hour long talks were positive, paving the way for dialogue between Bainsala and Gehlot.
First Published: Mar 28, 2010 13:44 IST