The Gujjar protest in demand of 5% reservation continued for the consecutive 3rd day on Sunday with blocking of rail tracks in Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. The Gujjars have refused to call off the protest until the government takes any decision about their reservation issue. However, no incident of violence was reported since Friday- the day when the protest began.
The protesters are seeking reservation in government jobs for Gujjars, Raika-Rebari, Gadia Lohar, Banjara and Gadaria people. The protest is being led by Kirori Singh Bainsla, chief Gujjar Arakshan Sangarsh Samiti. According to media reports, around 200 trains were diverted or cancelled due to sit-in on the rail links. Hazrat Nizamuddin-Ahmedabad, Hazrat Nizamuddin-Udaipur and Udaipur-Hazrat Nizamuddin trains were suspended.
Earlier, Congress government delegation led by Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh and IAS officer Neeraj K Pawan approached Bainsla, however, could not break the ice. Bainsla, while refusing to call off the protest, said that government had earlier assured them of offering five per cent reservation to them.
While trying to reach an understanding with the protesters during his visit, Singh appealed protesters to end the sit-in and come forward for talks as it is not possible to hold talks on rail links.
Appealing Gujjars to let trains chug, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday asked them that their demands will be addressed only after amending the constitution, therefore, they should approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the same.
Rajasthan is witnessing protests only after few months of new government’s month coming to power after defeating BJP. The state assembly elections were a set back for BJP ahead of the parliamentary elections in the country. In order to gain more votes in the forthcoming parliament elections, the BJP could try to support the demand of protesters.