With the state Assembly elections just around the corner, both government and Opposition leaders are wooing the influential Patidar
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is on a three-day tour of the Saurashtra region, where Patidars are very influential. Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitinbhai Patel met Patidar
Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel
in Gandhinagar on Tuesday.
The meeting, however, remained inconclusive. Hardik Patel
had come for the meeting with specific demands. Apart from reservation, he demanded justice for those killed during the reservation stir a year ago, and dropping of charges against the Patidar
youth, along with suspension of policemen responsible for atrocities.
heads a panel of ministers who are the government’s interface with the Patidar
He assured Hardik Patel
that a call would soon be taken soon on some of the demands, including the formation of a non-reservation commission and the appointment of a special investigating team to probe alleged atrocities and firing on Patel youth by the police.
But, dissatisfied by the assurances, Patidars started sloganeering against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Swarnim Sankul hall of the Secretariat in Gandhinagar. Hardik Patel
had earlier said he might consider supporting the Congress during the Assembly elections, if it agrees to his quota demand.
Rahul Gandhi was at a public meeting at Dhrol, near Jamnagar, as a part of his three-day Navsarjan Yatra in Saurashtra. The region accounts for 58 of the state’s 182 Assembly seats.
Congress has to catch up with the BJP in the region; it had won only 16 seats here last time, while the BJP had won 37.