AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government today said it was ready for another round of talks with members of the Patel community, who are seeking reservation under the OBC quota, ahead of their scheduled rally in the city on August 25.
The seven-member committee, appointed by Gujarat government on the issue, had yesterday held a meeting with the Patel community members.
"We held talks with the office-bearers of Sardar Patel Group (one of the groups seeking OBC quota for Patels) yesterday and we will again meet them on the issue," state Health Minister Nitin Patel, who heads the committee, told reporters here today.
"They (Patel leaders) told us that there are several issues that they need to discuss with the government. We will invite them again. They have assured us that they will come and hold negotiations with us," Patel added.
According to Hardik Patel, convener of Patel Anamat Andolan Samiti, the community members will hold a grand rally at the riverfront area in Ahmedabad, in which around 25 lakh people are likely to take part.
Yesterday's meeting between the Patel community representatives and the state panel ended without a breakthrough, reportedly as the Patel leaders refused to accept the formulas put forward by the government.
Spokesperson of Sardar Patel Group (SPG), P C Patel, said the meeting was a total "failure".
Talking to reporters in Vadodara, another Gujarat minister Vijay Rupani said the government was always open for talks and the rounds of negotiations will continue.
Senior state BJP leader and spokesperson of the party, I K Jadeja also stressed that the quota issue will be solved through discussions alone.
Meanwhile, Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha had yesterday issued a notification under CrPc section 144 for a period between August 19 and September 2, which bans assembly of more than four persons at a place and also prohibits holding of rallies and procession.
However, talking to PTI, Jha said the notification has nothing to do with the Patel community's scheduled rally on August 25.
"We had made it clear to the Patel community leaders that the notification has nothing to do with their rally. It is a regular notification. We should not make this (issuance of the notification) controversial," Jha said.