Open to further negotiations with Gurjars: Rajasthan govt

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Jaipur, Nov 2 (PTI) The Rajasthan government on Monday said it is open to further negotiations with Gurjars demanding reservation even as the protest by the Gurjar Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti entered its second day with a rail track being blocked in Bharatpur and road traffic hit in many parts of the state.

A North-Western Railways spokesman said routes of several passenger trains were changed in the wake of the agitation.

According to police, youths in large numbers blocked a rail track in Bharatpur's Bayana and also damaged tracks.

Movement of roadways buses was stopped on Dausa, Bharatpur, Karauli, Dholpur and Hindaun routes, and road traffic movement entering from Uttar Pradesh was also affected due to the agitation.

The issue was also raised in the Rajasthan Assembly session.

As soon as the session began, Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore sought a reply from the state government on the issue, saying the cabinet sub-committee held talks with Gurjars but members of the community were still blocking railway tracks.

Rathore said Internet services were suspended in various districts and rail-road traffic had also been stopped.

'The state government should inform the House on the issue,' he said.

Speaker CP Joshi then asked the state government to give a reply on it after passing three bills to negate the effect of farms bills passed by the Centre recently.

Health Minister Raghu Sharma said that the door is always open for holding talks and any problem can be solved through a dialogue.

'We have made an agreement and if there are any deficiencies... they can be solved through a meeting. The door is always open for holding talks. The state government provided five per cent reservation which was pending from years,' Sharma told reporters outside the assembly.

He said taking the law into one's hands and damaging property is not a solution to any problem, and added that the people should understand it causes losses to the country.

The major Gurjar organisation started the agitation over reservation on Sunday, a day after community leaders held talks with the Rajasthan government and reached a consensus on 14 points.

The convenor of the organisation, Colonel Kirori Singh Bainsla, on Sunday asked State Sports and Youth Minister Ashok Chandna to come to Bayana from Jaipur.

Later, Chandna reached Hindaun to meet Bainsla and the members of the Samiti but meeting did not take place due to Bainsla's health and blockade on Hindaun-Peelupura route.

'The agitation will affect traffic on the Delhi-Mumbai rail route. The movement of traffic was disrupted on the Bayana-Hindaun road,' police had said.

Earlier on Saturday, Gurjar leader Himmat Singh said the talks with the government were positive.

Mobile Internet services continue to remain suspended in many districts. The Home Department had evoked the National Security Act (NSA) in Bharatpur, Dholpur, Sawai Madhopur, Dausa, Tonk, Bundi, Jhalawar and Karauli districts.

The organisation is demanding that the Rajasthan government should get the Gurjars included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, fill the backlog of vacancies and give the benefit of five per cent reservation to the Most Backward Classes (MBCs) in the pending recruitment process.

The 14 points on which a consensus emerged during the talks on Saturday include providing regular pay scale to 1,252 MBC employees who have completed their probation period.

The state government will once again write to the Centre to include the provision related to reservation for the MBCs in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution. PTI AG AAR