AHMEDABAD: The next round of agitation to press for the demand for reservation to Patel community under OBC quota will kick-start tomorrow from Surat, Hardik Patel, who is leading the stir that plunged Gujarat into violence said today.
Hardik, convener of the Patidar Ananmat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), who arrived at the Ahmedabad Airport from Delhi here today claimed that the agitation for reservation has gained support of several communities and rallies would be organised in other parts of country in the coming days.
"We have called a meeting of all our 137 leaders from across the state today evening to chart out the plan for the second round of agitation in the state. We will start the agitation from Surat tomorrow. We will focus more on taluka and village level this time," he said.
The second round of agitation will attract the attention of the entire nation, he claimed.
"We will make the official announcement tomorrow about our upcoming programmes and rallies to be held in the state. This time, the entire nation will have its eyes on our programme. We will walk on the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi," Hardik told media persons at the airport.
During the first round of agitation, Hardik and his group had taken out rallies in different parts of the state. Violence had spread after their mega-rally in Ahmedabad on August 25 in which 10 people were killed.
Giving details of his Delhi visit, Hardik said many organisations have extended their support to the ongoing agitation.
Hardik also showed letters of various organisations who have extended their support. These include Gujjar Vikas Parishad, Kurmi-Kshatriya Mahasabha, Anjana-Chaudhari Samaj, Rashtriya Gujjar Manch etc.
"We are now getting support from entire India. Gujjars, Kurmis, Chaudharis and many others are with us. Our movement will further spread in other parts. In coming days, we have planned to hold a rally at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh," he said.
According to him, the total population of Patels, Gujjars and Kurmis in the country is 27 crores.
"We have also planned to take signatures of all 27 crore of our members on an application demanding reservation and hand it over to the Prime Minister," he said.
Hardik also lashed out at the Gujarat police as well as the government for the violence in the state after the crackdown on Patel leaders, hours after the mega rally at GMDC ground on August 25.
"No such incident took place in all the 37 rallies we organised ahead of August 25. I hold police as well as this Gujarat government responsible for inciting violence. Otherwise, we always walked on the path shown by Gandhiji," he said.