Raj govt ready to provide special reservation to Gujjars: Raje

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Jaipur, Jan 12 (UNI) In a bid to appease the agitating Gujjar community over the ST status demand, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje today expressed her government's readiness to extend reservation to them under Denotified Tribes or a similar special category.

Speaking at a meeting of elected representatives from the community at the BJP state headquarters here this afternoon, Ms Raje said she was ready to write to the Centre for seeking the latter's consent, if proper proposal was made to the government in this regard.

Ms Raje's announcement came in the wake of suggestions made by party general secretary and Maharastra former deputy chief minister Gopinath Munde and sitting BJP MP and Treasurer Ramdas Agrawal for extending reservation to Gujjars on the lines of the same presently being provided to some of similar nomadic groups in Maharashtra under Nomadic Tribes category.

The Chief Minister said Mr Agrawal, who is chairman of the four-member committee constituted by the state government for suggestions on special package for the welfare of the community, and other Gujjar leaders should decide on the quantum of the reservation percentage and forward their proposal to her government and she would waste no time in writting letter to the Centre.

Earlier, Mr Munde said he did not foresee the possibility of immediate positive decision at the Centre's level on the Gujjar's demand of ST status as that was not possible without proper amendment in the norms essential for determining the status of a group.

He said with the motive to provide immediate relief to the needy, the Maharashtra government had accorded 11.5 per cent reservation to certain castes, includuing the Banjara community, under Nomadic Tribes category. Similar model might be adopted in Rajasthan to address Gujjars' immediate needs, he said.

Mr Agrawal said the government should extend three to five per cent reservation to Gujjars under Denotified Tribes or a similar category to provide them immediate relief.

Cooperative Minister Nathu Singh Gurjar, Rural Development Minister Kalu Lal Gurjar, BJP state President Om Mathur and several others were present at the meeting.

The meeting was convened at Mr Mathur's initiative on the eve of a crucial Gujjar Mahapanchayat being held in Bayana tomorrow to decide on the future course of their agitation.


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