Aggressively wooing the politically dominant Patel community ahead of next year’s Assembly polls in Gujarat, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal today sought its support to “clean” the state’s politics and assured support to get “justice”.
On the second day of his four-day visit to the BJP-ruled state, the Delhi Chief Minister was greeted with black flags at various places by some little-known groups who termed him traitor for demanding proof of Army’s surgical strikes in PoK.
Kejriwal met family members of four Patel youths who died during last year’s OBC quota agitation. Before that, he addressed a gathering at the Patel-dominated Piludra village in Mehsana district and sought the community’s support to “clean” Gujarat’s politics.
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The village held special significance as the quota agitation started from here one year ago, he said. “Now I request you to start another movement from this village to clean the politics of Gujarat. We all must come together to fight against corruption and clean Gujarat’s politics,” he said.
He also shouted the slogan “Jay Sardar – Jay Patidar” several times during the speech, and paid floral tributes to Sardar Patel’s statue in Mehsana.
He then visited Kaamli village in Unjha tehsil of Mehsana district where he met the kin of Nagjibhai Thakor, a police constable who committed suicide allegedly due to harassment from bootleggers and politicians last month.
At this village, he also met the parents of Kanubhai Patel, a Patidar youth who died during quota violence last year.
He then visited Umiya Mata temple, revered by the Patel community, at Unjha. Outside the temple, members of ‘Rashtriya Patidar Sansthan’ protested against Kejriwal over his remarks on the surgical strikes.
Kejriwal landed in Ahmedabad in the afternoon and met family members of three Patel youths who died during the violence in August last year.