Patidar leader and Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel has written a letter to newly-appointed Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, who also belongs to the Patidar community, raising the pending issues and demands related to Patidar agitation in 2015.
In the letter, Hardik Patel has reiterated his earlier demands about various pending issues related to the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).
The working president of Gujarat Congress has justified his and the PAAS’ demands regarding reservation for the Patidar community established by the very fact that the state government and the Centre had made provisions to give reservation to the poor and backward classes and 10 per cent quota for the economically backward upper castes.
“If the reservation movement (initiated by the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti led by him) was unjustified, the government should not have made the provision for reservations,” Hardik Patel wrote in the letter.
He also mentioned about 28 cases registered against him, including on sedition charges.
“The Supreme Court has said that charges of sedition cannot be levelled against anyone,” he said in the letter.
As many as 438 cases were registered after the Patidar reservation movement which started in Gujarat in July 2015. Fourteen Patidar youth lost their lives during that movement.
“After the PAAS agitation, the Gujarat government’s home department had promised to withdraw 391 cases, but this assurance has not been fulfilled yet,” Hardik Patel said in the letter.
Patel said that after their movement, the Central government had announced 10 per cent reservation for backward upper castes.
“This proves that the reservation movement was not wrong. Taking a moral stance, the Gujarat government should withdraw the cases registered against the Patidars,” Hardik Patel said.
Besides the withdrawal of police cases, the other demands of PAAS included providing jobs to the kin of the Patidar youth who lost their lives during the agitation.
“The government has still not fulfilled our demands such as job for the family members of those who died during the Patidar movement,” he said in the letter.
“This is a betrayal of the Patidar society. There are more than one crore Patidars in the state who can play an important role in the socio-economic and educational development of Gujarat,” the letter said.