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The Patidar Abhivadan Samiti (PAS), a group of businessmen who have decided to felicitate BJP leaders on September 8, declared Friday that they were isolating Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel whom they had supported at the peak of the quota agitation.
PAS leader and businessman Mahesh Sawani said at a press conference, “Our community is with us and they are supporting the programme. We have now no relations with Hardik Patel or his plans. We always were of the opinion that reservations on the basis of caste and community should be removed from the country. We had never supported the Patidar movement seeking reservation. Hardik comes from Patidar community. So, we worked to bring him out from the jail and for that we acted as mediator between the state government and Hardik. The Patidar community is very powerful and has proved it by throwing out chief ministers Chiman Patel, Keshubhai Patel and now Anandiben Patel.”
PAS has organised an event to felicitate BJP national president Amit Shah, state unit chief Jitubhai Vaghani, CM Vijay Rupani, Deputy CM Nitin Patel in Surat on September 8. The programme will be held at P P Sawani school at Abrahma in Varachha. Notable faces in the Patidar Abhivadan Samiti are Mahesh Sawani, Mukesh Patel alias Himmat, Sanjay Movaliya, all of whom were mediators between the state government and PAAS and had met Hardik in Surat jail.
Hardik had handed over the 30-point compromise formula for the state government to Mukesh Patel when the latter had met him in jail, along with BJP MP Vitthal Radadiya. Mukesh Patel, a builder, said, “We have worked hard to bring Hardik out of jail and now he has started attacking us through WhatsApp messages, abusing us for organising the September 8 programme to felicitate Amit Shah and other BJP leaders. We now feel that we have wasted our time and money to bring him out of the jail. We are not afraid of him.”
He added that certain PAAS leaders had also been invited to the felicitation event. “They have also assured us that they will not create any disturbance. The Patidar reservation agitation is getting political colour and it is not moving in the right direction,” he said.
Surat PAAS co-convener Dharmik Malaviya said, “We have not got any invitation and we will definitely oppose the programme. Fourteen Patidar youths have lost their lives in the movement and there is no question of compromise. The people of our community are also against this programme and internal revolt has started among Patidars against the organisers.”