The Patidars declared the first round of their talks with a government committee on Monday to discuss their demand for OBC status “a failure”. The high-level panel of ministers was headed by Health Minister Nitin Patel.
Representatives of the Patidar or Patel community also claimed the approach of the state government was “very negative”. “We declare the talks a failure,” said P C Patel, a Patidar leader from Mehsana.
When contacted, Nitin Patel only said that the first round of talks was held and that various issues were discussed. Various Patidar groups, united under two new groups — Sardar Patel Seva Dal with Patidar Sankalan Samiti and Patidar Arakshan Samiti — had met the state government’s high-level committee, which was recently formed by Chief Minister Anandiben Patel to address the issue. Two memoranda were submitted. In one of the memoranda submitted jointly by the SPG and the Sankalan Samiti, they have demanded OBC status. In the event this demand cannot be met, they asked for rearrangement of the quota system to include socially and economically backward from all communities under the 27 per cent OBC quota.
In the second memorandum submitted by the Patidar Arakshan Samiti, they have put forward eight demands. These include OBC status, special privileges to those who are no longer farmers, scholarship to Patidar students from higher secondary level and vehicle for all college-going girls.