On November 13, Vijay Bainsla, Adhyaksh (Chairman) Gurjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti, issued a warning to Congress suggesting the community will not let Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY) enter Rajasthan. BJY, which started on September 30, is scheduled to reach Rajasthan on December 6. However, the recent announcement by the MBC community has put a question mark on the BJY’s 18-day schedule in Rajasthan.
Speaking to OpIndia, Bainsla said, “There were two protests that happened in 2019 and 2020. Congress-led Rajasthan government promised to back cases filed against us. They signed an agreement for the same. It has been almost four years, but no concrete action has been taken to withdraw the cases.”
He added, “They also promised jobs for our 233 community members for REET Level 1. They gave posting orders to our 233 students but were cancelled later. These postings were legal. Their government is saying the same, but instead of providing jobs, they ignore our request. As per law, we are right. If they are not doing it, their intentions have a problem. Furthermore, 372 jobs were promised in writing. Two cabinet ministers signed the agreement. It has been almost two years. No action has been taken in that matter as well.”
Speaking about the pending scholarships he said, “There is a Devnarayan Yojna in which the government provides scholarships and other benefits. 13,400 odd scholarships are pending under the scheme from 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.”
He said, “People who do not have money approach the government for scholarships. However, despite getting sanctioned by the government, the payout has not been issued for three years. My community is suffering.”
Bainsla added that promises were made about the backlog in jobs in Congress’s manifesto. He said, “In their manifesto of last elections, which also had a photograph of Rahul Gandhi, they promised to provide the backlog in jobs. The promise was repeated in the agreement as well. That subject is pending as well. The government has only one year left.”
Bainsla bluntly said the community would not allow Bharat Jodo Yatra to enter Rajasthan if the promises made by the Rajasthan government were not fulfilled before the scheduled date. He said, “We have only one demand. Fulfil what you have promised and your Yatra can then pass through Rajasthan. We will be more than happy to offer garlands to the leaders in Bharat Jodo Yatra. But if you refuse to fulfil our demands, we are not going to let you enter Rajasthan.”
Speaking about the accusations against him, he said, “The community members linked to Congress are accusing me of being an agent [of the opposition party]. My standpoint is very clear. We are asking for the completion of their promises to the community. So if you want to stand with the Congress party, that clearly means you are not standing with the community. If you are not standing with the community, the community will not stand with you, now and never.”
Bainsla lashed out at the community leaders in the government. Blaming them for the delay in fulfilling the promises, he said, “If the community leaders in the government have had done their jobs properly, we would not have to take such harsh steps. Why do people elect you? So that you help them. Just after elections, if you move out and think nothing will affect you, then I am sorry, it does not work like that. We will not leave you. Enough is enough.”
Bainsla emphasized that the MBC community is not making any new demand in view of Bharat Jodo Yatra’s Rajasthan schedule. He said, “See if Congress party wants Rahul Gandhi’s Yatra to go through Rajasthan, they have to fulfil their promises. What is the problem? We have been demanding the same for over four years. This is not a new demand. There is not even a single demand on which government has agreed and signed upon.”
MBC community have a high vote share in 74 assembly seats. He said, “We have a strong presence in 74 assembly seats. From wherever his Yatra is planned to pass through, we have a presence there. We are not going to leave him. Either fulfil what you have promised, or it will be better if you take him through Madhya Pradesh and not enter into Rajasthan.”
Bainsla said the government had formed a committee comprising state and cabinet ministers. They were supposed to look into MBC’s demands. However, no action was taken. He said, “Can you believe they formed a sub-committee to look into our demands in 2020 with Cabinet and State ministers as members… but it has been two years, and they have not met even once. They never approached us in these two years.”
On February 15, 2019, an agreement was signed by the Congress-led Rajasthan government following the protests led by the late Kirori Singh Bainsla and Vijay Singh Bainsla. As per the agreement, a 5 per cent reservation was promised to Gurjar and other communities. The government also promised to cancel and revoke cases filed against the protesters at the earliest.
Furthermore, the government had promised to strengthen Devnarayan Yojna and backlog jobs. For those who are unaware, backlog jobs are those where the notifications have already been issued, but community reservation was not mentioned. As the government promised, the MBC community members were scheduled to get reservations in those jobs as well, where notifications were already issued.
In November 2020, the Gurjar community led by Vijay Singh Bainsla again sat in protest for 11 days. On November 11, 2020, the government of Rajasthan signed an agreement with the Gurjar community for reservation in jobs and education. Furthermore, the government again promised backlog jobs, withdrawal of ongoing cases and rehabilitation of families of those who were killed in previous agitations. Energy Minister BD Kalla and Ministers of State Tika Ram Jully and Subhash Garg were signatories to the agreement.