Ready for unconditional talks with Jats, says Haryana CM

Chandigarh, Feb 28 (IANS) Nearly a month after the Jats in Haryana resumed their agitation, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday said his government is prepared for unconditional talks with the community over its demands and grievances.

“We are for affirmative, meaningful and sympathetic consideration of the 18 demands submitted by them. However, a similar attitude is also expected from the agitators. They should come forward for talks unconditionally. The government’s door are always open and it has never refused dialogue with the agitators,” Khattar told the media here.

Khattar said precautionary measures have, however, been taken to maintain law and order in Haryana and to prevent reoccurrence of violence of February 2016.

Finance Minister Abhimanyu also said the state’s Bharatiya Janata Party government is ready for talks with an “open mind” on job reservation for the Jat community within constitutional limits.

“Leaders of opposition political parties are trying to mislead the youths to regain lost political ground through protests. People are aware that the reservation stir has been lent a political flavour as leaders of these parties have not been able to raise other public issues during the present government’s tenure,” Abhimanyu said.

He said Haryana is in favour of granting reservation to the Jats in government jobs and educational institutions and a Bill was passed in the assembly last year, with the consent of all 90 legislators.

He said his government has presented a strong case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on this matter.

The Jats led by All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) resumed their stir from January 29 on their demands, including reservation, jobs to the next of kin of those killed in the February violence, compensation to the injured, withdrawal of court cases filed against them, and action against officers who ordered use of force against the Jats during the agitation.

Violence during the Jat agitation last year left 30 people dead and over 200 injured. Government and private property worth hundreds of crores of rupees was damaged during arson and looting in February 2016.

–IANS

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