Gujjars, govt closer to agreement; Col Bainsla joins in talks

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Jaipur, Jun 16 (UNI) The Rajasthan government and agitating Gujjar leaders today appeared to be inching closer to finding an amicable solution to pave the way to end the 25-day-old pitched agitation, demanding ST status for the community, which has so far claimed at least 38 lives.

Gujjar Reservation Action Committee Convener Col(retd) Kirodi Singh Bainsla, who has been spearheading a dharna on railway tracks at Pillukapura-Karwadi since May 23, arrived here to lead the 24- member Gujjar delegation in the decisive phase of ongoing talks with the state government.

Soon after his arrival at the Sanganer airport here, the Gujjar leader drove to a RTDC resthouse here to have initial discussions with associate Gujjar delegates, who have been holding dialogue with representatives of the state government since Friday.

The decisive phase of talks under the leadership of Col Bainsala began this afternoon at the OTS here .

The talks were progressing in a congenial atmosphere.

This is the first time Col Bainsla has joined in the official dialogue .

Prior to this, a four-member team comprising two Gujjar leaders and two government officials had gone to Pillukapura yesterday to brief Col Bainsla on the progress of the ongoing talks and prospective government proposals figured during the talks for meeting the reservation aspiration of the agitating community.

Col Bainsla suggested certain modifications and improvements in the proposed drafts to ensure a better deal for Gujjars.

Soon after its arrival here, the four-member team had conveyed Col Bainsla's sentiments and expectations over the draft proposals to the government which reportedly gave its nod for considering the suggestions of modifications and improvement.

Accordingly, Col Bainsla was contacted last evening and he had given his consent to come to Jaipur to participate in the final round of talks.

Meanwhile, the Meena community's counter pressure politics is on.

The campaign, which was initiated with resignation from Assembly by BJP MLA and former minister Kirodi Lal Meena and two others, continued.

A group of MLAs from the Meena community, including former minister Virender Meena, met ruling BJP state president Om Prakash Mathur today to convey to him their concerns over the state government's ''readiness'' to write to the Centre favouring reservation for Gujjars.

UNI SS RL RK1925

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