BJP shifts meet to Delhi after Rajasthan violence (Lead)

May 24th, 2008 - 11:10 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday decided to shift the venue of its national executive and council meeting from Jaipur to the national capital after the Gujjar community’s agitation in the state turned violent. “The office-bearers’ meeting Saturday decided to shift the venue from Jaipur to Delhi in view of the violence,” BJP’s vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

The three-day meeting was scheduled to begin May 30 in Jaipur, which was ripped apart by a series of terror blast May 13. The meeting would now take place in New Delhi June 1-2.

It is for the second time the BJP had to shift a meeting from Jaipur to New Delhi.

In June 2007, the party had to cancel the national conclave in Jaipur, and it was later held in New Delhi in the same month.

Naqvi said Saturday’s meeting, chaired by party chief Rajnath Singh, was attended by senior leaders including L.K. Advani, Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj.

He said Singh and Advani also spoke to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who apprised them of the situation in Jaipur.

“The state government is making all possible efforts to persuade agitating people to shun violence and have talks. Violence is not the solution to their problem,” said Naqvi.

The agitation of the Gujjar community turned violent Friday, leading to the killing of at least 20 people. The Gujjars, an ethnic group who rear livestock and earn a living by selling milk and other dairy products, are demanding that the community be included in the Scheduled Tribes list so that it gets better education and job opportunities.

The army was called in to assist the district administration in maintaining law and order in Bayana, about 170 km from Jaipur, after Friday’s violent clashes between the agitators and the police.

At least 26 people were killed in violence in May 2007 after the Gujjars launched the agitation.

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