Days after the Rajasthan government unanimously passed a Bill extending five per cent reservation to five communities including Gujjars, the agitation entered its eighth day on Friday. As per the North Western Railways spokesperson, 64 trains have been cancelled, 71 diverted and 32 partially cancelled in the last eight days.
Meanwhile, state Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh and representatives of the Gujjar community are holding discussions to end the deadlock, Station House Officer of the Malarna Dungar police told PTI. The community continued its roadblock and rail roko movement in a dharna led by Gujjar agitation leader Kirori Singh Bainsla on railway tracks.
The Gujjar agitators are sitting on Mumbai-Delhi railway track near Malarna Dungar and Sawai Madhopur-Jaipur rail track at Chauth Ka Barwara in Sawai Madhopur district. The blockade has caused serious inconvenience to the general public in the area with the traffic being badly affected.
Bainsla and his supporters began their sit-in on railway tracks in Malarna Dungar area of Sawai Madhopur district on February 8, demanding 5 per cent quota for Gujjar, Raika-Rebari, Gadia Luhar, Banjara and Gadaria communities in jobs and education.
Meanwhile, with this new Bill, to which Governor Kalyan Singh gave his assent, quota in Rajasthan will cross the 50 per cent cap on reservations set by the Supreme Court. The Congress government cited the Centre’s Constitutional amendment to exceed the quota ceiling to provide 10 per cent reservation to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the general category.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, also a Gujjar, cited examples of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, where the 50 per cent reservation limit has been exceeded. “We would also request the Centre to include this Bill in the Ninth Schedule, just like it did with the EWS quota,” he said, praising Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and the government for showing restraint during the current agitation; he then contrasted it with BJP’s response, saying that “when the community had taken to the streets in your tenure, you had 72 among them killed.”