Raje Govt ready to hold talks with Gujjars in Bayana

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Jaipur, Jun 8 (UNI) The Rajasthan Government today conceded Gujjar leaders' demand for holding talks in Bayana over the ongoing agitation for ST status.

Principal Secretary (Water Resources) S N Thanvi told UNI that he had conveyed the state government's acceptance of Bayana as the venue for the talks to Gujjar Reservation Action Committee Convener Col (retd) Kirodi Singh Bainsla over the telephone.

Mr Thanvi, who has been camping in Bayana since launching of Gujjar agitation on May 23, said he had told Col Bainsla that the initial round of talks to address the demand and dispute related issues could be held in Bayana and the further rounds of talks might be held in Jaipur.

Mr Thanvi said he had also suggested to the Gujjar leader to finalise the delegation for holding talks with the government representatives and to keep the size within reasonable limit of 10 to 15 members.

The Gujjar leaders have reportedly sent a list of 45 members in the delegation for participating in the talks.

The government was ready for talks at the earliest, Mr Thanvi said.

The talks can be held any time today or tomorrow.

Earlier, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje held a meeting with her Cabinet colleagues and BJP leaders to review the situation and decide further course of action. BJP Spokesman Prakash Javadekar, party Treasurer sitting MP Ramdas Agrawal, party state President Rajya Sabha MP Om Prakash Mathur also participated in the meeting.

Later, Mr Agrawal, who is also the Chairman of the four-member committee constituted by the Rajasthan Government to recommend economic package for Gujjars and Mr Mathur went to Bayana by helicopter to take on-the-spot stock of the situation in Bayana and Pillukapura.

BJP State General Secretary Ram Lal Jat, who has been active for political initiative over the Gujjar issue, told UNI that the state government had conveyed to Gujjar leaders its readiness for opening of official dialogue at Bayana.

The dialogue should start by this evening at any of the three venues -- Bayana Government College, Government Senior Secondary School premises or Bayana Dak Bungalow, Mr Jat added.

The efforts for opening talks between the Rajasthan government and Gujjar leaders had suffered a jolt yesterday as both the sides rejected each other's suggestions over the venue for the dialogue.

The Rajasthan government had rejected the Gujjar Action Committee's suggestion to hold talks in Bayana and insisted on Jaipur as the venue for the dialogue.

In response to the state government's stand, the Gujjar Action Committee had also refused to come to Jaipur to hold talks with the government and reiterated that the agitation would continue till the state Cabinet's formal recommendation to the Centre, recommending ST status for the community.

The fortnight-old 'dharna' at Pillukapura-Karwadi near Bayana and Sikandara in Dausa district continued even today.

UNI SS RP CS1712

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