The Gujarat government has invited Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel for talks, hoping to end the stir by the community that has been going on for more than a year demanding reservation in colleges admissions and government jobs.
“The government is ready to meet their demand within the purview of the law,” said deputy chief minister Nitin Patel.
Hardik Patel, 23, maintained that their primary demand would remain OBC status for Patidar or Patel community.
“The government has come forward for talks. In two days, all the conveners of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) will meet in Udaipur. PAAS will form a committee to engage with the government. But our priority would remain the OBC quota,” said Hardik Patel. He is in Udaipur on six-month exile as per the bail condition put by the Gujarat high court in connection with two sedition cases.
With assembly elections scheduled for December, the BJP is struggling to retain its key vote bank of the Patidar community.
Invitation comes two months after BJP president Amit Shah had to wind up his address in four minutes in Surat as the Patidar youths protested, chanting Hardik’s name.