Will spend exile in Rajasthan by working for Patidar community: Hardik Patel
Beginning his six-month exile from his homestate on Sunday, Gujarat’s quota stir leader Hardik Patel said he would use the time to focus on solving problems peasants face rather than on reservation.india Updated: Jul 17, 2016 20:14 IST
Beginning his six-month exile from his homestate on Sunday, Gujarat’s quota stir leader Hardik Patel said he would use the time to focus on solving problems peasants face rather than on reservation.
Speaking to the media in Udaipur where he will spend his time, Patel said his stay would not distract him from his quota demand for his community, but for now improving the conditions of the low-incomed was his priority.
“I am here to serve the people in best possible way... (My) work is to raise my voice for the people and with this I will get a chance to work for the people of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.”
Patel’s exile is the product of his bail granted by the Gujarat high court in a case of rioting. A relatively unknown figure, Patel shot to prominence last year when he led a stir for reservation in education and jobs. The 22-year-old also faces sedition charges.
Released nine months after he was jailed in Lajpore Central Jail in Surat, Patel was welcomed amid chants by Patidar community members chanting “Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar”.
Patel thanked his supporters, and also extended his gratitude to former Congress legislator Pushkar Dangi for arranging his stay in Udaipur. However, he rebutted speculations of joining mainstream politics, given the fact that he would be staying in a BJP-ruled state.
“I’m not eligible to fight an election. No party will field me. I’m also not interested in anti-BJP publicity but the government are discouraging people from demanding reservations for their development and I will stick to my demand,” he said.
If the BJP managed to win over Patel, it could put an end to the Patel quota stir.
First Published: Jul 17, 2016 20:10 IST