Deadlock between protesting Jats and Haryana govt continues

Posted By: PTI
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Chandigarh, Mar 17: The stalemate between Haryana government and protesting Jats continued with All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti on Saturday accusing the Haryana government of 'misleading and cheating' them. While Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said he did not know why protesting Jats 'stepped back' from making an announcement of calling off the ongoing agitation, which entered its 48th day on Saturday.

Haryana Minister Ram Bilas Sharma who held talks with agitating leaders of the Jat community had on Friday claimed that both sides had reached an agreement and indicated that the deadlock may end.

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"The Haryana government has cheated and misled us. We were supposed to meet Haryana CM in Delhi as was decided on Friday to take final call on our demands and how the state government will fulfill and implement them," AIJASS President Yashpal Malik said today. "On Friday evening, it was decided that CM will meet us in Delhi and discuss all issues with us. But he skipped the meeting with us despite being in Delhi," Malik claimed.

"Therefore, we decided to continue with our agitation and we will now move to Delhi on March 20 to lay siege in support of our demands," said Malik, adding that there was no scope for talks with the government before March 20. Malik claimed that the government was yet to resolve their issues. "No agreement has been reached yet with the government. The government has lied that an agreement has been arrived at," he said, adding that only discussion on the demands took place on Friday.

However, Khattar reiterated the commitment of the state government to maintain a peaceful atmosphere. The chief minister said that he was always prepared to negotiate with an open mind to resolve the issue and the Jat leaders should hold dialogue with him at any place. He said that he is scheduled to go to Chandigarh, Sonepat and Delhi on Sunday, and the agitating Jat leaders could see him at any of these places. The chief minister said that the Committee headed by senior most Cabinet Minister Ram Bilas Sharma had a talk with the Jat leaders in a cordial manner and a 'consensus' was reached, but he was not aware what went wrong with Jat leaders.

When asked if there was involvement of any political person in their backing out, Khattar said that he was not sure. He said that a Committee of officers under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary was constituted. This committee had held two meetings with the Jat leader Yashpal Malik and others. Apart from this, dialogue was continued at personal level to end the agitation.

On the demand of the Jat leaders, the government again constituted a committee headed by senior most Cabinet Minister Ram Bilas Sharma and Minister of State for Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes Krishan Kumar Bedi and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Kamal Gupta are its members. The first meeting was held yesterday at Panipat which ended on a positive note.

PTI

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