Gujjars threaten to dump Congress in LS polls

Col Kirodi Singh Bainsla. He is sitting at the protest venue along with his son Vijay Bainsla. Photo by Suman Sarkar

Gujjar Sangharsh Samiti chief, Col Kirodi Singh Bainsla, who is leading the Gujjar protest, reminded the Congress party of its promise of reservation for Gujjars in exchange for the community's support to the party.

Bainsla said the Congress in its election manifesto had promised reservation for the community but has not fulfilled it after coming to power. "In one of its pre-poll rallies in Karauli, Congress state President Sachin Pilot said the party will provide 5 % reservation for gujjars if voted to power. Dignitaries present on the stage then included Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. After coming to power, they forgot the promise and are now saying that it's not in their hands," Bainsla told DH. 
 
Vijay Bainsla, son of KIrodi, told DH: "Point no 23 of Congress manifesto clearly mentioned 5 % reservation. Our community in Rajasthan voted for Congress just because we wanted reservation and they had promised it." Bainsla also warned that if the Congress failed to deliver its promise, it will lose at least 10 seats in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
 
In Rajasthan, almost 65 Assembly segments are impacted by Gujjars, whose population is around 70 lakh. Similarly, at least 8 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats are influenced by the community, claim Gujjar leaders.
 
CM's appeal 
 
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday once again appealed to the Gujjars to end their quota stir, considering the inconvenience faced by lakhs of passengers due to cancellation and diversion of trains.
 
Background
 
The Rajasthan government had assured the Gujjar community 5 % reservation under special category in 2017 after series of agitations. It had planned to increase the reservation for Other Backward Classes from 21 % to 26 % and give 5 % of it to Gujjars, Raika-Rebari, Gadia Luhar, Banjara and Gadaria communities.
 
Currently, these communities are getting 1% reservation under Most Backward Class category in addition to OBC quota.

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Gujjars threaten to dump Congress in LS polls

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