CPI-M asks Raje to step down over Gujjar violence

May 30th, 2008 - 10:08 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to direct Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhare Raje to own up the responsibility for the ongoing caste violence in the state and quit office. “The Vasundhara Raje government (in Rajasthan) has the notorious record of having conducted over 50 police firings, in which around 80 people have been killed in its four and a half years rule,” said a statement issued after a two-day CPI-M central committee meeting.

After the latest massacres, Vasundhara Raje should own up responsibility and resign from the post of chief ministership, it said.

Around 40 people were killed in violence after the Gujjars - a nomadic shepherds community - took out protest marches demanding Scheduled Tribe status that entitles them to a 7.5 percent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.

According to CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, Raje behaved as if she had “divine” right to rule.

“This is a chief minister who believes she has a divine right to rule… like a feudal ruler. She has deployed the army… We want her resignation, owning up the responsibility for firing on the Gujjar agitators that has claimed 41 lives so far,” said Karat.

“The reservation is a complex issue. But this is not the way to handle it,” he said.

Karat added: “If the BJP, which seeks imposition of Article 356 at the drop of a hat, has any moral right, (it) should ask her to quit.”

The BJP and its prime ministerial aspirant L.K. Advani had demanded federal rule in the CPI-M-ruled West Bengal after a bloody violence in Nandigram village over the state government’s effort to acquire farmers’ lands for industry.

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