Will launch agitation if cases are not withdrawn against Patidars by March 23, says Hardik Patel
Various cases were slapped against hundreds of Patidars by the BJP government in Gujarat during the 2015 agitation that had turned violent
Working president of Gujarat Congress, Hardik Patel has said that if cases against Patidars are not withdrawn by March 23, he will launch an agitation.
Addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad, Patel – who led a successful agitation of Patidars for reservation seven years ago – said that the BJP government in the state could not decide whether cases against Patidars be withdrawn or not.
“It isn’t that the agitation is being done because Gujarat is facing an election this year. We have been hearing that the government is withdrawing the cases, but nothing has been done so far,” said Patel adding, “My team can assist the government if the government wants”.
It is worth recalling here that cases were slapped against hundreds of Patidars by the BJP government during the 2015 agitation that had turned violent.
Fourteen Patidar youths had lost their lives, demanding reservation. Hardik Patel, face of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), was jailed for taking part in the agitation.
Following the 2015 PAAS agitation, the Modi government had announced 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections of society. Hardik Patel claimed that the Central government was forced to give reservation due to the protest.
The young firebrand Congress leader said that he is demanding withdrawal of cases because the Patidar youths have been facing problems in attending court hearings.
“They can neither apply for jobs nor can they go abroad due to the cases,” said Hardik Patel.
Hardik Patel, who is also facing sedition charges among many other charges, said that he was not warning of an agitation to get cases against him withdrawn.
He said that all (even non-Patidars) are getting benefits due to the reservation announced by the government.
While Hardik Praised Anandiben Patel for withdrawing cases during her stint as the chief minister during the press conference, he said no cases were withdrawn during the tenure of Vijay Rupani, who succeeded Anandiben.