Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday asked the Gujarat Government to make its stand clear on various demands put forward by the organisation, including reservation for the Patidar community, before holding talks.
Patel was replying to Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel’s statement to a section of the media that the state government is ready to hold talks with the Patidars. Patel added that such statements by the BJP leaders were an an attempt to preempt any protests during the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on May 23.
“Nitin Patel says that they are ready to meet us. But, why should we meet you? To drink your tea? They are trying to misguide the community. We are not going to meet you (the government) till you make your stand clear on various demands that we put before you four months ago that includes reservation for Patidar community…There is no meaning in meeting time and again and have a tea.”
The issue cropped up following the recent meeting between a delegation of PAAS and Gujarat Congress Chief Bharatsinh Solanki.
Hardik alleged that the Gujarat government, under the direction of BJP national president Amit Shah, whom he referred to as General Dyer, was trying to scuttle the Patidar agitation by employing various tactics. “They are trying to create an impression that the agitation is finished. And specially they want to pacify Patidar youths ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on May 23 so that they do not do any protest…They do not want to give anything to Patidar community,” he said.
The Patidar youth leader also said that the agitation will continue, and on May 20 and 21 they were holding two major programmes in Botad and Bhavnagar. And in one of the protest programmes in Botad, 51 Patidar youths will hold a march with tonsured heads seeking justice in cases involvong members of the Patidar community.
“Fifty one youths, including me, will take a march with tonsured heads in protest on May 21. We have keep 51 target, but any number of Patidar youths can join us in this protest,” Hardik said. He also announced that instead of GMDC ground in Ahmedabad city, PAAS is going to hold a public meeting of PAAS workers on SG Highway of the city at a private place.
“They are not giving us permission for holding programme in rural areas, so they cannot give us permission for GMDC ground. So, we will keep it at a private place on SG Highway,” he added.