Respite for Rajasthan government as Gujjars call off quota stir

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Updated: February 16, 2019 1:55:31 PM

Agitating Gujjars in Rajasthan have called off their strike. This comes a few days after Ashok Gehlot government passed a bill promising 5% reservation to the community.

Gujjars stirRespite for Rajasthan government as Gujjars call off stir

Days after the Congress government in Rajasthan passed a bill promising 5% reservation to five communities, the agitating Gujjars have called off their strike. Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla announced the decision to call off the agitation.

Bainsla He said that decision to call off the protest was taken in the interest of the country.

“The agitation concludes today in the interest of the nation. I request that all the blockades across Rajasthan be removed immediately,” he said.

Gujjars had refused to call off their strike even after the government on Wednesday passed the Reservation Amendment Bill 2019 in the Assembly, which promises 5% to five communities — Gujjars, Banjara, Gadia Lohar, Rebari and Gadariya in educational institutions and government jobs. Bainsla had said that they will study the bill first before calling off the strike.

Gujjars had said that the previous governments had also cleared a bill promising 5% reservation on two occasions in 2009 and 2015 but the same was not granted because it failed to clear judicial scrutiny.

On both the occasions, the Rajasthan High Court had that 5% quota exceeded the 50% limit laid down by the Supreme Court. A bill to grant 1% reservation was also shot down in 2010 on the ground that the matter was taken up without conducting a proper survey.

Gujjars currently enjoys one reservation in educational institutions and government jobs after a fourth bill was introduced on this in 2017 by then BJP government.

The Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti had resumed its agitation on February 8 demanding that this one per cent be raised to 5%. They had blocked rail tracks and roads in many areas of the state and bringing transportation to a halt.

Soon after the bill was cleared by the Rajasthan Assembly to grant 5% reservation to Gujjars, it was sent to Governor Kalyan Singh for final assent. The Governor signed the bill on the same night.

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