October 5, 2021 12:30:14 am
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) Monday decided to take up various demands of the community before the new government of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.
Their major demands include withdrawal of criminal cases registered against the Patidar community members during 2015 quota agitation, giving jobs to the next of kin of the 14 Patidar ‘shaheeds’ killed in police action during the agitation, a survey of the community for giving it OBC (Other Backward Class) community status, and restoration of the controversial General Resolution (GR) of General Administration Department that the state government was forced to cancel after it was challenged in the Gujarat High Court.
The controversial GR did not allow women from reserved communities to compete in the open competition category of any government recruitment. In 2020, around 30 women of government recruitment for the Lok Rakshak Dal had protested against the GR for 70 days in Gandhinagar. After it was challenged, the state government was forced to cancel it.
PAAS president Alpesh Kathiria, who later addressed a press conference, said there were over 250 criminal cases, apart from four sedition cases, which were yet to be withdrawn. On the demand for jobs for the kin of the 14 deceased Patidars, Kathiria said, “Two previous chief ministers had accepted the demand. But the government has not given jobs to them.” He also said it was their demand to conduct a survey of the Patidar community for its inclusion in OBC.
The community leader said they would wait for the government to invite them for talks till October 31. “After Diwali, we will decide our future course of action after consulting all the major Patidar groups,” he added. Although the meeting was organised by PAAS, it was for all leading members of the community, Kathiria said.
The decisions were taken at a Chintan Shibir of leaders and workers, especially those who participated in the 2015 quota agitation. The meeting was attended by community members Dinesh Bambhaniya, Varun Patel, Reshma Patel, A K Patel, Rahul Patel and Nachiket Mukhi.
Congress MLA from Patan, Kirit Patel, was also present. No representative of the Lalji Patel-led Sardar Patel Group, which had launched the 2015 quota agitation, attended the meeting.
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