Hardik asks Patel leaders to clarify stand on reservation

  • Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
  • Updated: Sep 19, 2015 11:48 IST
Hardik Patel, convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti speaks during the "Kranti rally" (revolution march) organised by the Patel community to press their demands for reservation, at GMDC Ground in Ahmedabad. (PTI Photo)

Hardik Patel, leader of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), is bringing the Gujarat community’s agitation to the doors of Patel ministers, asking them to clarify their stand on the contentious issue of quota benefits.

The aim is to force BJP MLAs and MPs from the community, especially those sitting on the fence, to make public their support for the reservation demands. The move comes ahead of the crucial reverse Dandi March, which is set to be launched on September 6.

From Sunday, PAAS members, with roses in hands, will approach all elected MPs and MLAs from the Patel community to clarify whether they support the demand for quotas in government jobs and educational institutions or stand with the state government, which has ruled out any quotas.

There are more than three dozen Patel MLAs in the BJP, including the top leadership – the chief minister, state BJP president, seven top ministers, and five MPs.

Read |Hardik Patel: The 'New Modi' spells trouble for BJP in Gujarat

“They need to clarify their position on the demand — whether they are in favour or not. We want to draw people’s attention towards it. We are a peace-loving community and believe in the teachings of Gandhi. That’s why we will offer a rose and ask them to tell us whether they support reservation demand or not,” said Chirag Patel, a PAAS member.

The initiative will be kickstarted by Hardik Patel from the residence of BJP MLA Vallabhbhai Kakadia. The event will be video-recorded to show people where the politicians stand on the issue.

This is another attempt by PAAS to create a public discourse on the issue while keeping the Dandi March in mind.“The march is another big step in spreading our message about the reservations. We will get the police nod in a day or two. Even if we don’t, I will walk alone the entire stretch,” Hardik Patel told HT.

Read |Hardik Patel wants his protest to go India-wide

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