Patidar leader Hardik Patel will return to Gujarat on Tuesday after spending six months outside the state and address a “massive” rally of the Patel community in Sabarkantha district. The firebrand leader, who is facing sedition charges, was released on bail by the Gujarat High Court on July 15 last year on the condition that he will stay outside the state for six months, starting July 17. He had been staying in Udaipur in Rajasthan since then.
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Hardik’s close aide Dinesh Bambhaniya said he will receive a grand welcome on entering Gujarat from Ratanpur border. He said Hardik is scheduled to address a “massive” rally planned by the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti in Himmatnagar and expected to be attended by more than 1 lakh people.
PAAS has described it as “the start of the second round of the Patel quota agitation”. In August 2015, Hardik had addressed a massive rally at GMDC ground demanding inclusion of the community in the OBC category for quota benefits.
“This rally in Himmatnagar is GMDC part two. Hardik will take up the reservation issue. He will also demand justice for those killed in police firing during the violence after GMDC rally. This rally will reignite the quota agitation in Gujarat,” Bambhaniya said.
At around 2 PM, Hardik will reach Gandhinagar to seek blessings of former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel. In the evening, he will leave for Pune to take part in “Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad”. Hardik’s return is being monitored carefully by political parties as well as the administration as the state goes to polls later this year.