In a bid to press for the OBC quota demand, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) has started holding public meetings in Surat to make the upcoming “Reverse Dandi” march rally on September 13 a mega success. PAAS leaders will hold meetings with Koli community leader of Navsari and Patil and Gurjar communities in Surat and seek their support. Surat PAAS leaders also organised Patidars’ meeting at Gujarati Samaj hall at Navi Mumbai on Tuesday evening to seek their support. They will seek fresh permission from the police for the march.
The Navsari collector had imposed prohibitory orders in the district, forcing Patidars to put off the march earlier scheduled for September 6. The collector had stated that she had received written representations from sarpanches and leaders of 33 villages along the route, dominated by Koli population, which had objected to the yatra, fearing clashes between Kolis, an OBC community, and Patidars who are seeking the OBC status.
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PAAS convener Hardik Patel had announced on the night of September 5 that the yatra would be organised on September 13 even if the
government denied permission. Surat wing of PAAS had started organising public meetings among the Patidars in their own respective areas in Surat since Monday.
One such public meeting was organised at Sudama chowk in Mota Varachha area on Monday night. Hundreds of people from the nearby colonies were present in the meeting.
One of the speakers, Hitesh Patel, a school teacher by profession, stated that the Patidars’ children were studying hard to make their future bright and score good marks, but they didn’t get admissions in government colleges.
Similar meetings were organised in other societies in Surat on Tuesday evening. Surat PAAS convener Alpesh Katheriya, who is in Mumbai to participate in the Patidars’ meeting, said, “We want support from the Patidars of Mumbai and for that we have organised the meeting in Navi Mumbai. There are lakhs of Patidars in Mumbai.”
Surat PAAS co-convener Dharmik Malaviya said, “Our leaders will meet with the Koli community leaders in Navsari on Wednesday to explain to them that we are not against them. We are not doing this to snatch their rights. The Patil and Gurjar leaders of Surat have also approached us and have expressed their support to us. We will hold the meeting with them and see how they are helpful to us.”
He added, “Hardik, along with hundreds of youths, will start the rally from Dandi and it will pass through all the 33 villages who had opposed this yatra.
Thousands of Patidar youths would join the rally at Eru crossroad in Navsari. The distance between Eru crossroad and Dandi is 18 kilometres. We have started the public meeting to create awareness among the people and invite them to participate in the rally. Sunday is a public holiday and we are expecting over 50,000 people at Eru crossroad. We have started the process to seek permission for the march.”