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Rajasthan sends two ministers for talks with Gujjars
June 09, 2008 12:56 IST
The Rajasthan government has deputed Irrigation Minister Sanwarmal Jat and Mines Minister Laxmi Narayan Dave to hold preliminary talks with the agitating Gujjars at Bayana on Monday.
The ministers will attend the parleys with the Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, led by Kirori Singh Bainsla, at Bayana, stronghold of the community. "Both the ministers are likely to leave for Bayana to hold preliminary talks with the Samiti to bring an end to the 17-day long agitation which has crippled normal life across the state," the sources said.
The government has decided to send both ministers, conceding Bainsla's demand to hold the talks in Bayana and not in Jaipur as wanted by the government, they said. The state government and Gujjars broke the stalemate over where to meet on Sunday and agreed to hold preliminary talks in Bayana.
Bharatiya Janata Party president Om Prakash Mathur told PTI that the ministers will hold preliminary talks with the Gujjar leaders and the final round of talks would be held in Jaipur depending on the outcome of today's negotiations. However, Mathur refused to divulge the package that would be offered by the government to the agitating Gujjars.
When asked to comment about Centre's statement that Rajasthan was competent enough to declare Gujjars as nomadic or denotified tribal, Mathur said, "It is rubbish".
In a letter to the state government, Union Tribal Affairs Minister P R Kyndiah had dismissed the state's suggestion of amending the Constitution for granting the Gujjars nomadic or de-notified tribe status and said Rajasthan was competent enough to enact legislation under Article 16 of the constitution to make provisions for reservation to nomadic or de-notified tribes other than Scheduled Castes, Schedules Tribes and Other Backward Classes.