Hardik to hold day-long protest atop vehicles

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Ahmedabad, Aug 18 (IANS) Patidar agitation spearhead Hardik Patel has said he and his supporters would on Sunday climb on vehicles and stage a days hunger fast protesting the Gujarat Government’s refusal to allow him to re-launch his movement for reservation for his community.

“Acting in an unconstitutional manner, the state government has in the last two months failed to provide us a venue to launch our fight for farmers and social justice. We will be sitting on a token day-long fast onboard vehicles on Sunday, at Parking Zone ground in Nikol (Ahmedabad),” Patel said in a social media message.

He had met Ahmedabad Police Commissioner A.K. Singh and Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra requesting to spare a protest venue for the agitation. He had even suggested some alternative sites as well.

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Alongside Hardik, 501 of his supporters will be joining the token day-long protest. “The 501 youths will be wearing a black ribbon around their mouth as a mark of respect to our former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. While paying our obeisance to Vajpayee ji, we will continue with our fast in Nikol,” Patel said.

The young firebrand Patidar leader told IANS: “Every one has the right to agitate in a constitutional way. But in Gujarat, the BJP Government is preventing us from mobilizing support for our agitation. We are being deprived of our rights, but we will not sit quiet, we will fight and win.”

Patel had announced two months ago that he would revive his agitation for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the Patidars (Patels) with an indefinite fast from August 25, the third anniversary of his mega rally in Ahmedabad when he kicked off his movement. He has sought permission for the venue at the GMDC Grounds, where he had held a rally in 2015.

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