Ahmedabad, May 22 (IANS) In a bid to revive the Patel quota stir, its leader Hardik Patel has invited legislators from the community in the ruling BJP and opposition Congress to attend a Patidar mahapanchayat to decide the future course of action.
In letters addressed to state BJP president Jitu Vaghani and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Paresh Dhanani, both Patels themselves, he said: “The Patel community has been fighting for the rights of its future generations since the past three years in the form of agitations and representations.
“We (Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti) seek to carry forward this agitation and as part of this initiative have organised a Patidar Nyay Panchayat on May 26 in Dhrangadhra district.
“PAAS would like to invite Patel legislators from your party to participate in this Mahapanchayat and it would be imperative for you to come amidst the community and extend your support for the movement.”
He also said that if they fail to attend, “it would be construed that you are not in support of community’s fight for reservation”.
The reactions to the letter were on expected party lines. While the Congress appeared receptive, BJP’s Vaghani was scathing in his reply.
“Who Hardik?… I don’t know anyone who does not love the BJP. I don’t think it is necessary to reply to any Congress stooges who are taking Congress money. We have enough elders within the community who can think good of the community,” he told media persons.
“The BJP government and institutions have done a lot for our community.”
On the other hand, Dhanani said: “I have not received any such letter from anyone, but definitely, if the community’s problems are redressed through any initiative, I welcome it and obviously will participate. I welcome it if he has invited me individually or generally. Congress as a party will definitely take a decision in the party forum for this.”
Hardik Patel became the face of Patel quota stir that began in June 2015, demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.