High-level meeting in Gujarat on Patel quota on Tuesday

Ahmedabad, April 11 (IANS) A committee of ministers looking into the demands of the Patidar community for reservation in educational institutions and government jobs will meet Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Tuesday and hand over its report.

Health Minister and government spokesman Nitin Patel, who heads the committee, said the chief minister will take the final decision based on the report and after discussions with the committee.

The committee was set up in July last year in the wake of the agitation by Patels, under the banner of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), demanding reservation under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.

“We will meet the CM tomorrow (Tuesday) and apprise her of the latest status on the quota agitation. We will hand over our report, which comprises our opinions, about the demands put forward by the Patel quota leaders to arrive at a compromise. The chief minister will take a final call on the basis of our report,” Nitin Patel said.

The minister said various quota leaders will be invited by the government to discuss the final formula of compromise.

The announcement comes at a time when another Patel reservation body, Sardar Patel Group (SPG), which worked together with jailed Patel leader Hardik Patel of PAAS, has announced its second round of agitation if their demands are not met by April 17.

SPG chief Lalji Patel has threatened to launch a ‘jail bharo’ agitation if the government does not accept their demands, which were handed over to the chief minister last month.

Similarly, Hardik Patel has also sent a 27-point charter of demands to Anandiben Patel through Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha member from Porbandar Vitthal Radadiya.

“We have gone through the demands made by the PAAS and SPG. The government is keen on finding out an amicable solution in the same way as the Patel leaders. We will invite leaders of both these bodies to finalise the compromise formula in coming days,” Nitin Patel said.

The demands also include release of jailed leaders and withdrawal of cases against them as well as action against police officers who were involved allegedly in atrocities on members of the community after a rally in Ahmedabad in August last year.

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