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Talks fail to end impasse over quota to Gujjars

Talks fail to end impasse over quota to Gujjars

Gujjars are demanding 5 pc quota in government jobs and educational institutions.

Jaipur: Talks to end the 15-day-old impasse on the Gujjar quota issue failed to make much headway on Sunday with the agitators unrelenting on their demand for five per cent reservation in government jobs.

The state government and the Gujjar agitators will have another round of talks on Monday, Energy Minister Jitendra Singh told reporters at the end of four hours of tough negotiations.

"The deadlock persists," Gujjar leader Sriram Bainsla said but added that the agitators would participate in further talks to find a solution.

The Gujjars demanded a session of the state assembly for passage of a fresh bill to accord five per cent reservation, compensation for those injured in the protests, jobs for the kin of those killed and pension for those rendered disabled.

A 51-member delegation, led by Basanta Gujjar, held the third round of parleys at the state secretariat here with a committee comprising Singh, Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal and Transport Minister B K Sharma.

The resumption of talks follows an appeal to them by Union Minister Sachin Pilot, who belongs to the community, to seek a solution through dialogue.

Gujjars were refusing to hold another round of talks with the government insisting on intervention of Congress leaders from the community who, including Pilot, held discussions with state ministers yesterday in a bid to pave the way for another round of parleys.

The second round of talks was held on Thursday last between an 11-member delegation and government officials at Bayana, while the first round was held on Sunday at Pilukapura, the epicentre of the agitation, but no headway was made.

The High Court on December 22 had stayed the operation of an Act granting five per cent reservation to Gujjars and directed the state government to undertake a data collection exercise within one year to justify the quota for members of the community.

The agitators have been blocking Mumbai-Delhi rail tracks and Jaipur-Agra National Highway and several other roads in support of their demand for the last 15 days.

first published:January 03, 2011, 07:56 IST