Leuva Patels to hold show of strength rally on Sunday

Ahmedabad, April 28 (IANS) A community organization of the Leuva Patels, who constitute the major chunk of the Patidars in Gujarat and have been tacitly supporting the nine-month-old agitation for reservation for the Patels, is organizing a massive rally in Ahmedabad as a preparatory to the installation ceremony of the community’s temple early next year.

The rally being organized on Sunday by the Khodaldham Trust is overtly to prepare for a grand function for the newly-constructed temple in January, but sources say it is expected to be a veritable show of strength of the Leuva Patels.

The other major Patidars are the Kadwa Patels. Together, they form around 14 per cent of the state’s population.

Senior trustees of the Khodaldham Trust Dinesh Kumbhani and Vinod Morad told reporters here on Thursday that their community is for reservations to the Patels on the economic criterion.

However, they parried questions whether the influential Khodaldham Trust supported the agitation led by Hardik Patel for quota to the community under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.

It is well known that members of the Trust are for reservation to the community, though as an organization they would not come out to say that they support the agitation for it, since its spearhead Hardik Patel is a Kadwa Patel.

Leuvas and Kadwas have traditionally been at loggerheads over supremacy.

The rally, which the Trust says will be a ‘mahasammelan’, will be held in the presence of senior community leader and president of the Khodaldham Trust, Naresh Patel, who is considered close to several veteran politicians like former chief minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bete noire Keshubhai Patel.

Khodaldham trustee Dinesh Kumbhani said the organisation would also announce setting up of the country’s first agricultural university in the private sector to cater to the requirements of the farmers. Majority of Patels in Gujarat are engaged in farming.

–IANS

Desai/rn/bg

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