Gujjar leader ready to talk with Rajasthan govt.

Written by: Anita Nair
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Jaipur, Dec 30 (ANI): Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla has agreed to initiate dialogue with Rajasthan government over his community's demand for five per cent reservation in state government jobs.

He said an eight-member delegation will hold talks with the state government to find out an amicable solution to the quota deadlock today.

"The final decision, after discussing the matter with the state government, will be taken only after arriving at a consensus," he said.

Bainsla, who himself is likely to be one of the members of the delegation, said that the opening of the channel of dialogue would "just be a start" and a move to "come nearer and closer to each other.

The first round of talks between State Energy Minister Jitendra Singh and Gujjars at the Pilukapura railway line on Sunday remained inconclusive and Bainsla gave a deadline of seven days to the State government, while asking the Minister to come again with a "satisfactory reply."

While Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, accompanied by Chief Secretary S. Ahmed and Director-General of Police Harish Meena, monitored the situation throughout the day on Wednesday from his official residence here.

Principal Urban Development Secretary G.S. Sandhu, who holds additional charge of the Home Department, was camping at Bayana to maintain regular communication with the agitating Gujjars.

Earlier, Gehlot had said the community should understand the government's limitations over the reservation issue as the matter is sub-judice.

"What is in our hands will be done for sure, but since the matter is sub-judice, there are some limitations too and they (Gujjars) must understand it," Gehlot told reporters.

The agitation, which began in 2007, has claimed over 70 lives so far.

A year ago, Gujjars in Rajasthan fought police and members of another caste that already qualified for job reservations.

After the protests, the State government said it would spend Rs 2.8 billion on improving schools, clinics, roads and other infrastructure in Gujjar areas. But Gujjars rejected this option. (ANI)

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