BJP invites Jat leaders for talks, says committed to quota

New Delhi, Feb 20: Asserting that it stands for Jat quota, BJP today lined up Jat leaders to reach out to the community, whose stir in Haryana has shown no signs of a let up amid widespread violence, and invited their representatives to hold talks with party chief Amit Shah and Union ministers.

Concerned over the fallout of the conflagration as the community holds sway in western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and parts of Delhi, Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with the party's Jat faces separately and discussed possible measures to douse the fire. "In a way, there is an atmosphere of anarchy (in Haryana).

Committed for Jat quota: BJP

I appeal to the people leading the agitation to hold talks with our leadership.... Youths who are at the forefront should also join talks. I appeal, pray to the people of Haryana to maintain peace and harmony," Union Minister Birender Singh said.

Singh, party's most notable Jat leader from Haryana, was joined by another Union minister Sanjeev Balyan, who has emerged as the party's face from the community in western UP, Haryana cabinet minister O P Dhankar besides party General Secretary and state in-charge Anil Jain.

Singh blamed Congress for the crisis, saying it announced reservation for Jats without due diligence due to "political reasons", following which the Supreme Court quashed the decision.

"We are paying the price for Congress' wrong deeds," Jain said. Seeking to allay apprehensions expressed by some community leaders that that the BJP was not keen on quota for it, Singh said the party leadership had assured them that it was for reservation.

The central government and the party are exploring ways to see to it that Jats get reservation, the leaders said. The need for an early solution to the crisis and placating the numerically strong community is being keenly felt in the party as its repercussions could be felt in the UP assembly polls scheduled for early next year.

Jats have backed BJP in the state following the Muzaffarnagar riots. The Home Minister is meeting Jat leaders from UP and Delhi tonight.


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