Poll | Gujarat violence: Is quota politics sustainable?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 27, 2015 14:00 IST

Eight people have died in widespread violence triggered by a snowballing movement for reservations for the Patel community, forcing the government to deploy the army and impose a curfew in parts of the state.

Curfew has been clamped in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Mehasana, Patan, Palanpur, Unjha, Visnagar and Jamnagar towns.

Normal life was paralysed in several parts of Gujarat with schools, colleges and business establishments such as banks and public transport closed following a shutdown called by the group spearheading the stir, the Patidari Anamat (Reservation) Andolan Samiti (PAAS). Mobile internet services were blocked in Ahmedabad.

The Patels said their demands were justified and have warned the BJP government in Gujarat it will face consequences in the 2017 assembly polls if its plea is not accepted.

Meanwhile, other communities in the country are also seeking similar caste-based quotas and have threatened to hold protests if their demands are not met.

In Haryana, Jats have threatened to intensify their stir for reservation in education and jobs after a 2013 state government order extending the facility to them and four other communities was stayed by the high court last month.

Similarly, the Congress in Maharashtra has demanded that the BJP-led government in the state take a decision on the demand of reservations by Marathas, Muslims and Dhangars within 15 days.

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