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Gujjar-government talks: Prospects brighten
June 16, 2008 22:53 IST
Prospects of an end to the the 25-day-old agitation by the Gujjars appeared to brighten on Monday as the community leader Kirori Singh Bainsla and Rajasthan government claimed "forward movement" after the fourth round of talks in Jaipur.
A final round of discussion will be held on Tuesday when Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is likely to come face to face with Bainsla for the first time since the Gujjar agitation for Scheduled Tribe status began on May 23.
Emerging from a three-and-half hour meeting with the Gujjar delegation led by Bainsla spearheading the agitation, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ramdas Aggarwal, who headed the government side, told reporters in Jaipur, "Today's talks were held in a very cordial and satisfactory manner. It will continue tomorrow."
"We have moved four steps further and will go ahead to achieve the goal for the benefit of the people in the state," Aggarwal added.
At the joint press conference, Bainsala said, "I am satisfied with today's meeting, which was held in a very cordial manner. We have moved two to four steps forward."
Asked if the government will recommend ST status for he community, he said,"I was discussed today and will be finalised tomorrow."
Raje is likely to attend the ifth and final round of talks with the Gujjar delegation headed by Bainsla on Tuesday, Aggarwal said.
To a question on calling off the agitation and withdrawing from the railway tracks at Pilupura in Bharatpur district, Harprasad Gujjar, the co-convenor of Rajasthan Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, said, "As soon as we reach there with the recommendation letter (we will put an end to the stir)."
Earlier in the day, Bainsla went into the talks voicing optimism about its outcome. "I have come to Jaipur with an open mind. I am optimistic about the outcome of the talks," he told reporters at the gate of the Officers' Training Station building, the venue of the parleys.
Bainsla was flown to Jaipur from his camp in Bharatpur's Karwadi area by a state government helicopter.
He is leading a 30-member delegation of Gurjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti to the talks. The delegation includes his samiti deputy Capt (retd.) Hari Prasad.
The Rajasthan government team, led by Aggarwal, includes four state ministers -- L N Dave, S M Jat, Nathu Singh Gujjar and Kalu Lal Gujjar.
Shortly after reaching Jaipur, Bainsla chaired a meeting of the samiti's representatives who have been holding parleys with the state authorities.