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Gujjar agitation: BJP shifts national meet from Jaipur
May 24, 2008 18:20 IST
The outbreak of Gujjar violence on Friday forced the Bharatiya Janata Party to shift its National Executive meeting from Jaipur to Delhi, upsetting its plans to use the conclave to launch a high-voltage campaign in poll-bound Rajasthan.
The three-day Executive, scheduled to begin from May 31, will now be a two-day affair and would be held in New Delhi on June 1 and 2.
Interestingly, this is the second time the party had to shift the National Executive meeting from Jaipur.
Last year, the party had to move its National Executive from Jaipur to Delhi in the wake of the violent Gujjar agitation, demanding Scheduled Tribe status for the community.
The decision to shift the National Executive was taken at a meeting of the office bearers in New Delhi, chaired by party chief Rajnath Singh and attended by senior leader L K Advani and Jaswant Singh.
The return of the Gujjar agitation, barely months ahead of the Assembly polls, has put the party in a spot of bother as it may affect its prospects.
"Any trouble during the National Executive could have attracted the media attention and fuelled negative publicity," a senior leader remarked.
The party also wanted to use the Executive platform to project unity in the faction-ridden Rajasthan state unit, where a rebellion against Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had been simmering for long.
At the office bearers' meeting, the party top brass also discussed the fallout of the Gujjar unrest and ways and means to placate the community.
"The Vasundhara Raje government is making all efforts to restore peace," party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the meeting.
BJP chief Rajnath Singh described the violent incidents that rocked the state as 'saddening' and urged all sections of the society to exercise restraint.
"Violence cannot solve any problems. I have spoken to Chief Minister Raje and asked her to take all possible steps to restore normalcy," he said.