Hardik seeks to revive Patel quota stir

Hardik seeks to revive Patel quota stir

Hardik Patel. PTI file photo

In a bid to revive the Patel quota stir in Gujarat, Hardik Patel has written a letter to the two main political parties in the state to ensure participation of their legislators in a community event next week to decide on the future of the quota stir.

"For the last three years, the Patel community has been fighting for the rights of its future generation. Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) seeks to carry forward this agitation and as part of this initiative has organised a Patidar Nyay Panchayat on May 26 in Dhrangadhra district.

"PAAS would like to invite Patel legislators from your party to participate in this mahapanchayat and it would be imperative for you to come to the community and extend your support for the movement," Hardik Patel said in his letter addressed to state BJP president Jitu Vaghani and Leader of Opposition in the state and Congress legislator Paresh Dhanani.

Hardik had become the face of the quota stir that began in June 2015, when Patels across the state organised themselves to hold massive rallies and build pressure on the BJP-led government in the state to consider their demand for quotas to government jobs and educational institutions.

The movement was said to be responsible for the fall of the Anandiben Patel-led government in the state. 

Both, Vaghani and Dhanani like Hardik, hail from the Patel community. "If you fail to attend the event, it would be construed that you are not in support of community’s fight for reservations," Hardik stated in his letter.

The reactions to Hardik’s letter were in keeping with the parties' official lines. While the Congress appeared more receptive, BJP state president Jitu Vaghani was scathing in his reply.

"Who is Hardik? I don’t know anyone who does not love the BJP. It is not necessary to reply to any Congress stooges. There are enough elders within the community who can think for the community," Vaghani said to reporters.