As the situation limps back to normalcy from the pandemic, speculations are doing rounds about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s next visit to Gujarat. Some speculate that the PM is likely to visit Gujarat on September 17 to seek blessings from his mother on his birthday. However, top officials in the Secretariat say that the PM seems certain about visiting the Statue of Unity at Kevadiya Colony in Narmada on October 31.“The PM has declared to celebrate October 31 as Rashtriya Ekta Divas (RED). Last year, he had started the celebration with armed forces at SoU. This year, he looks certain to visit the SoU for the RED celebration to take it to a level of Republic Day celebrations,” said a senior IAS officer. However, another senior IAS officer said, “Instead of coming to Gujarat on his birthday, he may celebrate the day with soldiers posted on any of the borders.”
August 25 marked the fifth year of the Patidar reservation agitation. Garnering national attention in 2015, the agitation had catapulted Hardik Patel as a youth leader when he addressed a massive rally at GMDC ground in Ahmedabad. Violence had erupted and left 14 Patidars dead owing to police action. On Tuesday, Hardik greeted Patidar community members on social media for the “historic revolution”. Now the working president of Gujarat Congress, Hardik listed three benefits of the agitation: Mukhyamantri Swavlamban Yojana, 10% reservation on economic grounds and relaxation of five years in age limit for government jobs for communities without social reservation. On Wednesday, Hardik recollected August 26, 2015 as “Patidar Shahid Din” even as tree plantation programmes were held in Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Rajkot to pay homage to those killed.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines