Continuing with its populist announcements ahead of the Assembly elections, the BJP-led Gujarat government on Wednesday withdrew a criminal case against Patidar quota agitation leader Lalji Patel and 68 others. It also announced to drop cases, registered under the provisions of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and other relevant penal sections, against 22 Sanand farmers.
Further, the Vijay Rupani government announced four more decisions related to the salaries of government employees, including the Seventh Pay Commission benefits to 15,000 employees of 105 municipalities in the state. Besides, it increased the income cap to get benefits of Mukhyamantri Amrutam Yojana and Mukhyamantri Amrutam Vatsalyam Yojana from Rs 1.50 lakh to Rs 2.50 lakh.
Announcing withdrawal of cases against Sanand farmers, MoS for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja in a release said despite the fact that many policemen were injured in the violence during the rally on February 14 this year, the government has taken a pro-farmer decision. The farmers’ rally, backed by Aam Aadmi Party, had been taken out to press for supply of Narmada water for irrigation.
In another major announcement, the state government decided to drop a case related to Sardar Patel Group’s (SPG) jail bharo protest in 2016 in Mehsana. SPG leader Lalji Patel and the 68 others were booked for rioting and allied charges following violence during the protest.
The government has already withdrawn 468 criminal cases against the Patidars agitating for reservation benefits.
In fact, the government has even shown readiness to consider withdrawing of criminal cases of serious nature against the Patidar protesters. Patidar youth leaders such as Hardik Patel, Dinesh Bambhaniya and Nilesh Ervadiya face sedition cases.
In another populist measure, Deputy CM Nitin Patel extended the pay panel benefits to the employees of 105 municipalities — a decision which will cost the government Rs 54 crore.