Gujarat Patidar agitation spearhead Hardik Patel here on Thursday launched a three-day 'sankalp yatra' to press for his long-pending demand of reservation to the Patel community in government jobs and educational institutions.
Launched from Ahmedabad, the yatra -- comprising a cavalcade of 182 cars -- was welcomed by enthusiastic crowds on way. It is scheduled to conclude at the temple town of Somnath, 411 km from Ahmedabad, on September 16.
Slogans like Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar rung through the air as Patidar volunteers displayed banners with pictures of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Chhatrapati Shivaji and Bhagat Singh.
Hardik Patel, who is the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, said the route of the yatra has been chalked out to cover as many districts as possible to give the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party "a run for its money".
"By the time we reach Somnath, at least 1,100 vehicles will join us. The rally is to demonstrate that we are firm on our demand and we will not sit quietly till our just demands are met," Patel told reporters en route.
According to him, the issue is also linked to the burning issue of unemployment facing the Gujarat youth.
Patel, 24, said not only Patidars but common people and youngsters from other upper castes, OBCs, Dalits and Muslims were expected to join the rally.
The yatra would travel to Somnath from Ahmedabad via Viramgam, Malwan, Halvad, Morbi, Tankara, Padadhri, Kalavad-Khodalgam, Vijapur, Jetpur, Jetalsar, Chokhi, Vanthali, Keshod and Ajaab.
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