The state government, on Thursday, held talks with leaders of unreserved communities (which do not get social reservation) who have been protesting against any change to the General Resolution (GR) of the government that prohibits women from reserved communities from competing in the open competition category of any government recruitment.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Chief Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, K Kailashnathan and top officials of the General Administration Department and the Home Department took part in the discussion, with around 15-20 leaders of the unreserved communities such as Dinesh Bambhaniya, Purvin Patel, Varun Patel, Raj Shekhavat, A K Patel, etc. The talks went on for around three hours late in the evening.
The leaders and women of unreserved communities have been protesting since Wednesday after the state government declared that they will modify the GR — dated August 1, 2018 — to correct any discrepancies that it has caused for the implementation of 33% women’s reservation in government recruitment.
Meanwhile, the woman job aspirants from reserved communities for the post of Lok Rakshak Dal (LRD) recruitment continued their protest at Satyagrah Chhavani for the 66th day against the 2018 GR.
The women have said that they will continue their protest until the state government shows them the modifications made to the GR.
The issue is also subject matter of litigations before the Gujarat High Court, and Advocate General of Gujarat government has also informed the court that the government will soon modify the GR.
Following the government announcement on Wednesday, around 200 women of unreserved communities – led by a number of community male leaders – launched an agitation here in support of the current GR of 2018. Following this, police detained around 25 supporters on Wednesday night.
The group of unreserved communities restarted their agitation near Udyog Bhavan here Thursday morning following which the state government invited their leaders for talks to resolve the issue. The discussions were held late in the evening inside the office of Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel at Swarnim Sankul – I and it went on for around three hours.
After the meeting, Patel said, “Following the demand of the people of unreserved communities that the government must listen to them (before modifying the 2018 GR), the Chief Minister had instructed me and Pradeepsinh Jadeja to hold talks with them. Today, we have heard a number of issues of the leaders of different unreserved communities. We will brief the Chief Minister about the same tomorrow (Friday) after which further action will be taken. These leaders of (unreserved communities) have said that they are ready to hold talks with the government once more.”
On Thursday, following the statement of Advocate General before the Gujarat High Court Wednesday, the state government was expected to make necessary modifications to the 2018 GR.
When asked when the modified GR will be issued, Patel said that it was a decision that was required to be taken at the level of Chief Minister and it was the responsibility of the latter.
He also said that the government will try to keep all together.
Meanwhile, Bambhaniya said that the Deputy CM and Home Minister have told them that they will brief the CM about the meeting and then further decision will be taken. “So, we will wait for the reply of the Chief Minister and till then our agitation will continue. Our agitation will go on till we get final reply,” said Bambhaniya.
One of the woman protesters from reserved communities, Puja Sagathiya said, “This government is spreading casteism and favouritism. We have been protesting for the past 66 days, but the government did not talk with us. Against that, they invited unreserved community people within one day of their protest. Are we not the daughters of Gujarat? We will continue to protest till the 2018 GR is modified or cancelled.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines