Raj Govt grants Rs 282 Crore Package to 5 Gujjar dominated districts

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Jaipur, May 17(UNI) The Rajasthan Government today decided to grant a Rs 282 crore Special Development package for five districts of the state where the Gujjar community is living in most backward conditions.

The package is being granted by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on recommendation of the four-member committee headed by Sitting MP and BJP Treasurer Ramdas Agrawal.

The committee, comprising Food and Civil Supply Minister Ghanshyam Tiwari, Industries Minister Digamber Singh and Mines Minister Laxmi Narain Dave, besides Mr Agrawal, in the first phase has recommended package for five districts of Alwar, Sawai Madhopur, Kaurali, Dholpur and Jhalawar where around 9 to 10 lakh of total 25 lakh Gujjar populatiion of the state, live, Mr Agrawal said.

He told reporters that the package is meant for carrying development works like installation of hand pumps, laying of roads, setting of cooperative dairies and opening of schools, colleges.

Besides this, provision of scholarships for needy and meritorious children would also be made.

The committee has submitted its report to the Chief Minister who in the presence of about 100 Gujjar leaders, including BJP MLAs, Ministers and other elected representatives, announced the grant of the package.

Mr Agrawal said allocations of around Rs 182 crore had already been made in the current year's budget while funds of additional Rs 100 crore would be allocated soon.

The package would satisfy the need and aspiration of the community which had been agitating for long for ST status, he said.

The Ramdas Agrawal Committee was constituted on recommendation of Justice Jasraj Chopra Committee which had examined the Gujjar Community's demand of ST status.

Mr Agrawal said his committee would submit recommendations for other remaining districts in the state in the next phase.

Jasraj Chopra Committee and Ramdas Agrawal Committee were constituted in the aftermath of the pitched Gujjar agitation for ST status in May-June last year. Twenty six Gujjar activists were killed in violence and police firings during the agitation.

Those who spearheaded the agitation, including Gujjar Reservation Action Committee Convenor Col Kirodi Singh Bainsla and rebel BJP MLAs Prahlad Gunjal and Avtar Singh Bhadana were not present in the meeting at the Chief Minister House today.

Mr Agrawal said the state government would implement the assurance given to Gujjar community about relief to victims of violence during agitation that included job to kins of deceased and ex-gratia to injured people and withdrawal of the court cases against agitating leaders.

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