Raj Govt-Gujjars reach settlement on reservation issue

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Jaipur, Jun 17 (UNI) The Rajasthan Government and agitating Gujjar leaders tonight reached a settlement over the community's demand for ST status, paving the way to end the 26-day-old Gujjar stir, but a formal announcement of the agreement will be made tomorrow.

Gujjar leader Col Kirodi Singh Bainsla and Government delegation leader and Rajya Sabha member Ramdas Agrawal gave this information at a joint press briefing here.

Col Bainsla and Mr Agrawal said the historic settlement had been achieved in the larger interests of 50 million people of the desert state.

The written agreement would be formalised tomorrow and the same would be announced formally at a ceremony at the state secretariat here in the afternoon, they added.

Mr Agrawal and Col Bainsla thanked all concerned, including Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, the state government, the ruling BJP leadership, the media and the people of the state, for cooperating and facilitating the accord.

The settlement was arrived at after a four-hour-long fifth and final round of talks between Gujjar and the state government delegations.

Chief Minister Raje was also expected to participate in the dialogue, but she did not.

However, after the discussion, Mr Agrawal and state BJP President Om Prakash Mathur went to the Chief Minister's residence to seek her final word over the settlement.

Meanwhile, Meena community elders, including a number of MLAs, also kept their pressure tactics on. They remained assembled at former Minister Kirodi Lal Meena's residence for most part of the day.

The settlement will make way for calling off the fierce stir which claimed 38 lives since last month. An announcement to this effect will also be made tomorrow.

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