Patidar agitation in Gujarat stirs again

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
  • Updated: Jan 02, 2016 00:24 IST

The Patidar agitation for OBC status is has witnessed a revival in the state only a few days before the Supreme Court hears the bail application, on January 5, of their community leader Hardik Patel.

Patel has been in jail since October on charges of sedition.

On Friday, finance minister Saurabh Patel skipped the Krishi Mohatsav held at Prantij in Sabakantha district, reportedly afraid of facing angry Patidars. This festival, which spreads awareness on agricultural methods and technology, is being held simultaneously at many places.

A day earlier, health minister Nitin Patel was chased away from a Mehsana venue where a condolence meet was held for 22-year-old Mayur Patel who was old was hit by a bullet fired by the police on August 26. He died last week.

The Patidars have announced to boycott events organised by top BJP leaders in Mehsana.

While the Anandiben Patel government is said to have started backchannel talks with influential Patidar leaders to contain the agitation, the Congress will organise a rally on January 6 to demand the release of youth arrested during the earlier agitation.

As many as 137 youth, including Hardik, have been lodged in jail under charges ranging from rioting to sedition.

Since the last week of December, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) has organised programmes at various places in the state.

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