Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) on Monday, vowed to launch another round of agitation for OBC quota next month. Hardik Patel-led PAAS has decided to agitate as the Gujarat government turned blind eye on the issue.
The decision came during an announcement in front of thousands of Patels, by Samiti leaders at Jangvad village in Rajkot district. All the 50-odd PAAS conveners had also gathered to attend a rally, which was organised by the PAAS to mark birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Hardik, who is currently based in Udaipur, had called for the rally. Lalit Vasoya, who is a PAAS convener for Saurashtra region and also known to be Hardik’s close aide, announced that Hardik has given a green signal to restart the stir.
Hardik, addressed the huge crowd through a video message and gave a go ahead to launch the second round of the protest. Hardik is on bail in sedition cases in connection with last year’s Patel quota stir. He is currently barred from entering Gujarat.
“In his video message, Hardik asked our community to stay united and start the fresh round of agitation, as the state government has closed all other doors for us. PAAS will start this fresh round of agitation from November 20 with a massive rally at Bhayavadar village of Rajkot,” Vasoya said.
“We went there to make a representation as the state government earlier asked us to follow the legal procedures. But, police stopped us from making our representation and detained us. Thus, we are left with no other option than to start the agitation once again to open the eyes of government,” Mr Vasoya said.
“Hardik gave assurance that the community will get reservation with consistent efforts. After our rally in Bhayavadar on November 20, we will organise one such rally in each taluka of Gujarat after every 10 days. We will reach out to each and every village to spread awareness about our cause,” said Dinesh Bambhaniya, a PAAS convener.
Last year, the agitation spearheaded by Hardik had led to violence as Patel community members clashed with police at various places across the state.
The quota issue has put the ruling BJP government in quandary, which is facing Assembly elections next year.