As the show of strength by the Patel community took a violent turn on Tuesday, there was a warning note for the BJP government in Gujarat. Addressing the “Maha Kranti” rally here on Tuesday, Hardik Patel, convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), warned that the lotus would “not bloom” in the 2017 assembly polls if the community’s demand for OBC status was ignored.
“In 1985, we uprooted the Congress from Gujarat, today there is BJP. 2017 is coming… lotus will not bloom in the mud… if you will not talk about our interest, the lotus will not bloom with brilliance,” he said.
In his speech which lasted over an hour, Hardik warned that he would take the agitation to Delhi. “Some said your agitation is supported by Congress, some said your agitation is inspired by BJP, while some others said it is sponsored by Aam Aadmi Party, but we are apolitical,” he said.
“If you do not give us our right, we will snatch it. Whoever will talk of Patel interests will rule over Patels,” he said, claiming that the Patidar population in the country was 27 crore. “Why have we come to the streets now? It is because our own don’t care for us although they are in power,” he said.
“A person told me that you (Patels) have political clout in Gujarat. I told him…have you just seen Gujarat, don’t you see Bihar…even Nitish Kumar is ours…Don’t you see in Andhra Pradesh… Chandrababu Naidu is ours,” he said. “In Gujarat, we have six MPs, while in India we have 117 MPs… Nobody is aware of that…our seal will be there on dollars,” he said.
“We are the descendants of Lord Ram… we are the descendants of Sardar Patel,” said Hardik, referring to the legend that the Leuva Patels are descendents of Luv and Kadvas of Kush — the twin sons of Ram and Sita. To the crowd wearing caps that said “I am Patidar”, Hardik emphasised that the rally united the Leuvas and Kadvas.
“Some parties say you do not know about Supreme Court guidelines (50 per cent cap on reservations), this cannot happen. If Supreme Court can open at 3.30 in the morning for a terrorist, then why not for the youth, the future of this nation?” he said.
While he threatened to go on a hunger strike till Chief Minister Anandiben Patel came to the rally venue and accepted their memorandum, the PAAS convener later handed over the memorandum to the Collector.
The PAAS is spearheading the community’s agitation for OBC quota.
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