New Delhi: Agitating Gujjars in Rajasthan should understand that the solution to their demand for five percent quota in government jobs has to be found under constitutional norms, central Rural Development Minister CP Joshi said Tuesday, appealing to political parties to discourage such protests.
The government is continuing talks with the Gujjars, said Joshi, who is also the Rajasthan Congress chief, on the sidelines of a workshop on technology for rural development.
"In democracy, a solution has to be found under the constitutional norms. They (agitators) have to understand...There is need to understand the process of democracy," said Joshi, who has talked to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on the issue.
He stressed that "all political parties should discourage such agitations".
Talks between the Rajasthan government and leaders of the Gujjar community ended inconclusively Sunday, the seventh day of their agitation for reservation in jobs in teh state.
Gujjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, which is spearheading the agitation, later said it would give the government seven days to tender a satisfactory response to its demands.
In July 2009, the Rajasthan government announced five percent reservation for Gujjars and 14 percent for the economically backward classes, taking the total reservations for various sections of society to 68 percent in the state.
The Rajasthan High Court in October 2009 stayed the quota in jobs and educational institutions in the state for Gujjars and the economically backward classes as the total reservations far exceeded the cap of 50 percent laid down by the Supreme Court.
In a ruling Dec 22, 2010, the high court struck down the job quota for Gujjars. It gave directions for collection of "quantifiable data" on Gujjars afresh for giving them the quota.
Over 15,000 Gujjars began their agitation Dec 20, affecting train services between Delhi and Mumbai and a few other sectors. They have also blocked roads, affecting all other transport.