In support of their demand for 5 per cent quota in jobs, education

In a setback to the ongoing talks on reservation, Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla on Sunday announced that the community would take out a “march from all directions” to the Rajasthan capital on April 3 to press for the contentious 5 per cent quota in jobs and education as the State government refused to immediately meet the demand.

Addressing the mahapadaao (sit-in) of Gujjars at Ghazipur in Dausa district, Col. Bainsla made it clear that a relay dharna would continue at the site before the entire community joins the march to Jaipur. Similar dharnas were in progress at Ajmer, Tonk, Alwar, Jodhpur, Pali and Sirohi.

The Gujjar supremo returned to Ghazipur on Saturday night after holding third round of talks with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Col. Bainsla said the talks were “not fruitful” because the government did not want to resolve the issue.

Col. Bainsla said though the Gujjar leadership was open for talks, the State government did not seem to be ready to provide reservation. “We are left with no option but to start the march to Jaipur from wherever we have been sitting for so many days.”

The deadlock on the issue of reservation has been created by a stay granted by the Rajasthan High Court in October last year on the operation of a new legislation providing quota in jobs and education to special OBCs comprising Gujjars and other nomadic tribes and the newly created economically backward classes.

The talks between the State government and the representatives of the agitating Gujjar group have so far not succeeded in finding an amicable solution to the 5 per cent reservation demand because of the matter being sub judice.

Besides, the State government was unwilling to stop the ongoing process of recruitment to 80,000 posts.

The Gujjar leadership too has reportedly consulted senior lawyers on the issue. Gujjar leader Roop Singh described the talks as “suspended” with an indication that the dialogue might resume at an appropriate time.

Mr. Gehlot said the government was trying to resolve the issue with a “positive outlook” and underlined the need to maintain peace and harmony, uphold the rule of law and respect the verdict of the court.

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