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Previous BJP govt mooted ST status for Gujjars: Bainsla
January 11, 2008 21:46 IST
The Gujjar agitation committee on Friday claimed that the previous Bharatiya Janata Party government in Rajasthan, headed by Bhairon Singh Shekawat, had sent a letter to the Centre in 1993, recommending their inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes list.
It demanded a white paper on why the letter and its reply to the Congress-led Ashok Gehlot government in 1999 had 'gone missing'.
"It is evident from the official papers that Gujjars were referred to, in the recommendation list of 15 castes made to the Centre, by the previous BJP (Shekhawat) government," Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti patron Kirori Singh Bainsla said.
He claimed that the Social Justice and Empowerment Department had provided the Samiti copies of some papers pertaining to the letter.
Bainsla said, "The original letter written and sent by the previous BJP government and the letter from the Centre to the Congress government seeking further clarifications are not traceable now".
Copies of the papers, which could be enclosures of the said letter, were distributed to the media.
If the Raje government had know of the communique, 26 people would not have lost their lives in the agitation last year, Bainsla said and announced a Gujjar mahapanchayat to discuss the issue at Bayana on Sunday.
The Gujjar faction, led by BJP rebel MLA Prahlad Gunjal, meanwhile, demanded that the Raje government revise its letter sent to the Centre with a fresh submission for their inclusion in the ST category.