Demand for OBC status: Patidars’ stir spreads to Saurashtra

The community had started the agitation in north Gujarat around two weeks ago and one of their rallies had turned violent.

By: Express News Service | Rajkot | Published: August 1, 2015 3:12:33 am

The movement by Patidar or Patel community demanding its inclusion in Other Backward Class (OBC) category took out a motorcycle rally in Devbhoomi-Dwarka district and submitted a memorandum to the district collector on Friday. Youth of Patel community from 10 villages of Bhanvad taluka of Devbhoomi-Dwarka district assembled at Bhanvad railway station at around 10 am. They took out the rally under the banner of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and submitted a memorandum to Bhanvad mamlatdar.

Led by Hardik Patel, convener of PAAS and Damjibhai Sihora, sarpanch of Gunda village of Bhanvad, the youth later set out for Jam Khambhaliya, headquarters of Devbhoomi-Dwarka district. Passing by Rupamora and Manja villages, the rally reached Khambhaliya at around 12:30 pm. The rally leaders met collector HS Patel and submitted him a memorandum demanding inclusion of Patidar in OBC category and resultant benefits of reservations.

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Earlier, a group of students from the Patidar community had submitted a memorandum with reservation demands to Rajkot district collector. “We’re not against any community which is enjoying benefits of reservations. But our movement is to ensure that Patidar youths do not lose out on opportunities of education and jobs just because they are general category candidates. Youths of this community are lagging behind in education, jobs and scholarships while others with inferior merit are securing all this due to reservation,” Hardik Patel said.

The community had started the agitation in north Gujarat around two weeks ago and one of their rallies had turned violent. But this is for the first time that the community took out a rally to demand OBC status.

The Patidars are divided into sub-caste of Leuva Patels and Kadva Patels. Devbhoomi-Dwarka has population of Kadva Patels and Gunda has the largest population of this community. Sihora said that people from Gunda, Nava Gam, Jampar, Morjar, Sai Devaliya, Verad, Vanavad and Shiva villages as well as those from Bhanvad town joined the rally. He further said that around 1,400 youths took part in the rally by riding around 800 motor bikes.

Brahmins seek quota

Even as the Sardar Patel Seva Dal and PAAS announced more rallies in Saurashtra in the coming days, their demand found chorus in the Brahmins of Morbi district. Brahmins under the banner of Samast Brahm Samaj submitted a memorandum to the collector, demanding OBC status and reservation.

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