Gujjar agitation: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot passes the buck to Centre
Maintaining he is open to talks, Ashok Gehlot said that Centre will have to take a decision on the Gujjar demand for five per cent reservation.
Jaipur: On Monday morning, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said he is open to talks with agitating members of the Gujjar community who are demanding reservation. By afternoon of the same day, he passes the buck to the Centre.
Protest from members of the Gujjar community turned violent on Monday with protestors clashing with security personnel. Four trains had been diverted and one had to be cancelled due to the unrest which saw Gujjar community members sitting on railway tracks as part of their agitation. Another 15 trains for Tuesday have been cancelled while eight have been diverted.
While appealing for calm and order to be restored, Gehlot said that he is open to dialogue but a final decision has to be taken by the central government. "The (state) government is ready to help them. They need to voice out their demands to the Centre and it’s up to the Centre what decision they take," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot on movement by Gujjar community in Sawai Madhopur, demanding 5% reservation: The govt is ready to help them, they need to voice out their demands to the Centre, and it’s up to the Centre what decision they take. pic.twitter.com/EfsFpThMrv — ANI (@ANI) February 11, 2019
Gehlot also took a strong objection to the manner in which the protests have been carried out. "Trains have been cancelled or diverted, who is at loss? It’s the country which is at a loss. What’s the point of staging a protest? I would like to make an appeal, start a dialogue with the government. I can assure you we will do whatever we can."
The Gujjar community, however, is in no mood to relent unless their demand of five per cent reservation is met. "We will leave only after getting five per cent reservation. It's my personal request to the government - don’t do anything which can provoke people of Rajasthan. People are waiting for my instructions. Let’s sort it out in a peaceful manner. The earlier the better," said Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla.
Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla: We will leave only after getting 5% reservation. It’s my personal request to govt, don’t do anything which can provoke people of Rajasthan, people are waiting for my instructions. let’s sort it out in a peaceful manner. The earlier the better. pic.twitter.com/LWJnXxMq3H— ANI (@ANI) February 11, 2019
On-ground situation had worsened on Sunday when security personnel lobbed tear gas to disperse protestors near Dholpur. Local reports said that protestors had resorted to throwing stones at cops and their vehicles. Rail traffic, meanwhile, was severly affected - especially on the Mumbai-Delhi route. The Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (GASS) launched agitation in the state on by blocking highways and traffic.