Patel agitation spearhead Hardik Patel and his Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) on Friday decided to resume their agitation for reservation for members of their community under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.
A meeting of the PAAS core committee met at the three-storey house of a former Congress MLA in Udaipur in Rajasthan where Hardik Patel has been putting up. They discussed the Patidar issue and felt the 10 per cent quota the Gujarat government announced for economically weaker sections among non-reserved category was too meagre.
“Our agitation for reservations to the Patidar community in government jobs and educational institutions under the OBC category will continue in a peaceful manner,” the 23-year-old Hardik Patel told reporters after he emerged from the meeting.
The Gujarat High Court had on July 8 granted bail to Hardik Patel in two sedition cases on the condition that he would stay outside the state for six months and thereafter for three months from the North Gujarat town of Mehsana in another case.
Hardik Patel said the agitation would be re-launched on August 14, ahead of the Independence Day, with women across Gujarat announcing it with beating of rolling pins on steel plates.
“The families who have lost their sons in police violence during the agitation would also pay homage to the martyrs that day by lighting up a diya (lamp),” the Patidar leader said.
It was also decided at the meeting to press for the withdrawal of “wrong criminal cases slapped” on the Patels during the 10-month-long agitation that began in July last year.
“Our taluka (tehsil) and district leaders in the state will on August 28 together submit a memorandum to the mamlatdars and collectors demanding dropping of cases against us,” Hardik Patel said.