BJP central leadership steps in after Haryana situation deteriorates

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) In the wake of the deteriorating situation in Haryana due to the Jat agitation for reservation, the BJP’s central leadership stepped in on Saturday, saying it favours the agitating community’s demand and invited them to hold talks.

The ruling party both at the Centre and Haryana also appealed to the Jat leaders to maintain peace till the government arrives at any conclusion over the issue of reservation to the community.

A delegation of the BJP’s Jat leaders, headed by union minister Chaudhary Birender Singh met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president Amit Shah and discussed the issue.

Haryana minister O.P. Dhankar, union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Sanjeev Balyan, and party general secretary in charge of Haryana Anil Jain were also part of the delegation.

“Our central leaders are ready to hold discussions with the Jat protesters with an open mind. We invite them for talks so that we can reach a conclusion over the issue,”

Birender Singh said at a press conference after meeting Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah.

“We would especially like to invite the youth agitators,” he added.

Birender Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Haryana, also appealed to the Jat agitators to maintain peace.

“We appeal to all political leaders and social organisations to maintain calm and come forward for talks. We assure you of a fruitful result if you come forward for talks,” he said.

Birender Singh, however, made it clear that the party supports reservation for the Jat community and blamed the Congress for the present agitation.

“There should be reservation for Jats. We have been assured by our central leadership. They are also in favour of reservation,” he said.

Jain added: “We are in support of Jat reservation and it should be given within the provisions of the Constitution. This was the reason the party filed a review petition after the Supreme Court denied reservation to the Jat community.”

The BJP also said it will issue a show-cause notice to its Kurukshetra Lok Sabha member Raj Kumar Saini for speaking against reservation for the Jat community, defying the diktat of the party’s central leadership.

“The party has taken cognizance of remarks made by Saini and decided to issue him a show-cause notice,” Jain said at the press conference.

“Saini was asked to refrain from making such statements but he defied the central leadership’s diktat,” he said.

Saini had earlier opposed reservation for Jats, saying Jat leaders in the BJP were creating pressure on the chief minister over the quota issue.

He also said Jats had “grabbed” more than 50 percent of posts in the general category, and now they wanted a share in the rights of backward classes.

The BJP leaders blamed the Congress for the present situation in the state.

“The Congress gave reservation to the Jat community keeping in mind the political scenario in the state and now we are facing the heat of their deeds,” Jain said, adding that there were some political parties behind the Jat community’s agitation.

“Very soon, it will be clear who are behind it,” he said.

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