Indicating that the situation prevailing in Gujarat in the backdrop of the Patidar agitation for OBC status poses threats of class conflicts, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel Thursday asserted the need for ending the stir by members of her own community. “Gujarat should not have class conflicts. The elders and community leaders are worried,” she said.
Referring to the young leadership of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), including its convener Hardik Patel, she added, “25-26-year-olds do not know what cast conflicts can lead to. I have seen Gujarat of 1976, 1985 and 1987.”
She was referring to cast conflicts the state has seen in the past due to the anti-reservation agitations. With an eye on the forthcoming local body elections, it was a function to observe Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 65th birthday as Swachhta Divas by honouring the heads of local bodies that have achieved 100 per cent target of personal toilets. But the shadow of Patidar agitation, which has intensified after a meeting between its leaders and the CM, loomed large over the celebrations.
“It takes effort to do development, but nothing to brake apart things. We need to work hard to build road, electricity and water supply. But it can be destroyed in no time,” said Patel, referring to the widespread vandalisation of public property that the state witnessed by mobs after the Patidar mega rally in Ahmedabad on August 25. Eight persons were killed and several injured in riots reported during the two days. The police department alone suffered damage to the tune of Rs 200 crore. “The people should come and say what are the problems. There is no point in creating ruckus,” she added. At the function, the government honoured heads of the local bodies for successfully carrying out Swachhta Mission.