AHMEDABAD: Patel quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel's fresh drive to muster the support of MLAs of to his community today ran into police resistance as he was stopped from meeting local MLA Vallabh Kakadia here.
Hardik, convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), had earlier announced that PAAS members will give a rose to each Patel community MLA in Gujarat as part of their drive to know whether these legislators support their quota agitation or not. Under this drive which started today, Hardik along with seven other PAAS members went to meet Kakadia, who also belongs to Patel community, at his office in Bapunagar this morning.
However, police as well as para military forces cordoned off the office area since morning and the PASS leader and his supporters were not even allowed to get down from their car and were asked to leave the place without meeting the MLA.
"We want every Patel MLA to make his stand clear about our demand to give reservation benefit to our community under OBC quota. When we reached Kakadia's office in Bapunagar, a huge number of police and paramilitary forces were already deployed," Hardik told a press conference later.
"Though only seven of the PAAS leaders went there to hand over the rose, the police did not even allow us to get down from our car and forced us to leave the place. Since we did not want any confrontation, we returned without meeting him," he added. According to him, Kakadia needs to make his stand clear if he claims that he is always with Patel community. "If Kakadia claims that he is with the community, then why didn't he utter a single word during the assembly session about the custodial death of Shwetang Patel in his constituency. Since he refused to meet us, it is clear that he is not with his community," Hardik alleged.
Shwetang, who was forcibly taken away by the police on August 25 during the Patel community's agitation, died allegedly in police custody. Continuing their state-wide drive to seek support of MLAs belonging to Patel community, Hardik had announced that he would meet BJP MLA from Maninagar seat in the city Suresh Patel tomorrow.
"We will meet Suresh Patel tomorrow and try to give him a rose as part of our exercise to know his stand. It would be better on his part if he gives us time. Otherwise, the community will take an appropriate decision," Hardik said.