Gujjar stand-off on; Recruitment drive to continue: Gehlot

The Rajasthan government on Tuesday categorically said the ongoing recruitment drive in the state would not be put on hold as demanded by agitating Gujjars who continued to lay siege to rail and road routes in on day nine.

Updated: Dec 28, 2010, 22:04 PM IST

Jaipur: The Rajasthan government on Tuesday
categorically said the ongoing recruitment drive in the state
would not be put on hold as demanded by agitating Gujjars who
continued to lay siege to rail and road routes in the state on
day nine of their stir.

The deadlock persisted as no talks were held between
the Gujjars, demanding among other things five per cent quota
in jobs and educational institutions, and the state government
today to end the stir.
"The stand-off continues. No fresh talks were held
today. The situation remains the same," Gujjar leader Roop
Singh told PTI by telephone from Pilukapura in Bharatpur where
thousands of protesters were staging a sit-in.

Appealing to Gujjars to call of their agitation, Chief
Minister Ashok Gehlot said the recruitment drive in the state
would continue and would not be put on hold under pressure.

"We are going to recruit nearly 8,000 teachers and
police constables for which lakhs of candidates have applied,"
he said.

The community should understand "our limitations"
over the reservation issue which was sub-judice, Gehlot said.

The agitators today blocked more roads in Bhilwara and
Swaimadhopur districts as they continued to squat on railway
tracks in Bharatpur, Dausa and Tonk, police said.

The blockades of NH-11 in Dausa and other interior
road routes in Karauli, Sawaimadhopur, Bharatpur, Dholpur and
Alwar districts also continued.

However, there was no report of violence from any
part of the state.

Gehlot alleged the conspiracy to revive the quota
stir in the state was hatched during the marriage of BJP chief
Nitin Gadkari`s son in Nagpur recently.

"We have information that some people who attended the
marriage had made plans for reviving the stir," he said.

After a meeting of the Gehlot Cabinet, Home Minister
Shanti Dhariwal said the recruitment drive in the state would
continue.
"We cannot put on hold recruitment for one lakh posts
in the state for a year as demanded by the Gujjars.

"What we are suggesting is that we can keep additional
4,000 vacancies reserved for Special Backward Classes and it
will be filled accordingly after the High Court verdict on the
matter," he said.

The Cabinet appealed to the Gujjars to call off their
stir which, it said, was causing a huge loss to the tourism
and other sectors.

The stir has badly hit transport industry and supply
of goods in the state with several thousand trucks stranded in
different parts of the state.

The Railways have so far refunded over Rs 1.5 crore
following cancellation of 45,000 tickets in the wake of the
agitation.

On Sunday, the first round of talks at Pilukapura, the
epicentre of the stir, some 11-km from Bayana, were deadlocked
with Gujjars unrelenting on their quota demand.

PTI