The Sardar Patel Group (SPG), led by Lalji Patel, Tuesday joined the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) to boycott the Patidar Abhivadan Samaroh Samiti (PASS), led by businessman Mahesh Sawani, which is planning to felicitate BJP leaders on Thursday.
In a message on the letterhead of Sardar Patel Sewadal, circulated on Patidar groups, Patel asked Sawani why the 44 Patidar MLAs, who had not even condoled the Patidar youths killed during the quota agitation, were being felicitated. In the letter, SPG opposes the programme to felicitate Patidar leaders and BJP national president Amit Shah. “None of the 44 MLAs belonging to the Patidar community has visited the homes of the 14 martyrs or compensated their family members,” Patel said in his letter, condemning the event.
He said that the SPG had taken out 148 rallies in Gujarat for the reservation of Patidars and handed memorandum to district collector. Till now no actions has been taken nor a single representative of the state government has given any answer, he said. The letter states that SPG was ready to felicitate Sawani if he helps bring in reservation for Patidars or give justice to the family members of the Patidars killed or others subjected to police torture. Patel said that Sawani should reply by Wednesday or the SPG would stage a public protest.
Sawani said, “We work in the positive direction. The felicitation of Patidar leaders is good work. We don’t work to divide any community, caste or religion. Our motive it to get all of them united. In PAAS and SPG organisations, there seem to be more Congress workers.”
Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, who was among those to be felicitated by PASS, will not be able to make it to the event. “He has undergone prostate operation and has been advised rest for 10 days. However, he will send his good wishes,” said BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya.