When Chief Minister of Rajasthan Smt Vasundhara Raje and her ministerial colleagues decided to initiate dialogue with the leaders of Gurjjar Sangharsh Samiti, under whose umbrella Gurjjar agitation for inclusion of the community in the Scheduled Tribes was launched, there was unanimity that government should offer only such things, which it could implement with all its honesty.
The one-point demand of the Samiti was that government should give in writing by which time-frame it would recommend to the centre to give a ST status to Gurjjars, who are presently in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. But government, from the very beginning, said that this kind of letter would not serve any purpose, unless there is a proper survey of the community in the state and a recommendation of the cabinet on the basis of this survey.
Therefore, it offered them a practical solution to the problem. The formation of one high-powered committee, which would conduct the survey, including economic and social status of the community on the basis of parametres prepared by the centre. The committee would submit its report within three months. After receiving the report, government would send its report to the centre, as it being a constitutional matter only the union government is competent to take a decision
Though convener of the Samiti, Lt. Col. (retired) Kirori Singh Bainsla joined the talks, other members of the Gurjjar delegation were not willing to accept this proposition. They said they had promised the community such a letter and were not willing to climb down, whether such a letter served any purpose or not. Other than Col Bainsla, most of the other members of the ten-member delegation of the Samiti, has political affiliation.
Smt Vasundhara Raje, her ministerial colleagues, three senior party leaders from Delhi?Shri Gopinath Munde, Shri Anant Kumar and Shri Prakash Javadekar?joined the efforts to find a solution to the problem. Almost everyone was sure that, if Col Bainsla, a 65 and 71 war veteran, was brought to the negotiation, the matter would be sorted out in no time.
Around this time, clashes between Meenas and Gurjjars started taking place. It was felt if government accepted the demand of Gurjjars, it would be opposed by Meenas. Senior Minister Kirori Lal Meena mobilised the Meena MLAs and threatened to resign if government conceded the demand of the Samiti. On the other hand another senior minister Kalu Lal Gurjjar, along with Gurjjar MLAs came openly in support of the demand of the Samiti.
Smt Raje sat with the senior party leaders and ministers and a multi-pronged strategy was chalked out. She picked up Shri Ahayakumar and Shri C.B Sharma, who once had served as district collector and police superintendent of Dausa. During their posting in the district they had developed contacts with Col. Bainsla, and found him an intelligent and at the same time a reasonable person. They were asked to get in touch with Col. Bainsla, who after the first day of violent incident was sitting at Patoli along with thousands of Gurjjars, who had jammed the Jaipur-Agra highway.
The Samiti leaders took the stand that Col. Bainsla would not come to join negotiation at Jaipur. If government wanted him to join the talks, the venue of the meeting should be at Patoli. But these two officials reported to the government that Col. Bainsla was willing to join the talk.
According to insiders, even batch mates of Col. Bainsla'sIRS daughters, currently posted in Delhi were used to convince him to join the talks. When efforts to bring him to Jaipur were on Smt Raje asked Shri Munde and Shri Anant Kumar to tackle the ministers and MLAs of warring groups of Gurjjars and Meena, so that they should not oppose any of the agreement. Media-savvy Shri Javadekar was given the task to handle the print and electronic media to avoid any misinformation about the ongoing negotiation.
Over and above Smt Raje involved her daughter-in-law Niharika Singh, who belongs to Gurjjar community. She played host for the lunch arranged for the Gurjjar delegation at the Chief Minister'sresidence, the venue of the talk. This silenced some of the members of the delegation, who were trying to brand Smt Raje as anti-Gurjjar. During one to one talk, Smt Raje showed Col. Bainsla, government'soffer of formation of a high-powered committee. Since this was most reasonable and practical, he took no time to accept. Then he discussed the draft with his colleagues and some minor changes were made in it before both the sides signed it.
Some of the members wanted that instead of a committee, government should constitute a commission, which would function more independently. At that juncture Smt Raje assured them that two members, including its member secretary, would be from out of the state, so the committee could function independently and without any bias against any community.