AHMEDABAD: The Patel quota agitation leader today unveiled his national plans by announcing the launch of a new outfit which will bring Patels as well as other affiliated communities under one umbrella to press for their inclusion in OBC list.
'Patel Navnirman Sena (PNS)' will work towards bringing Patels (Patidars) and affiliated communities such as Kurmis and Gujjars under one platform to press for their demand for reservation in Government jobs and education under OBC category, said the agitation leader Hardik Patel.
Announcing plans to hold a series of rallies in coming months to take forward their campaign, Hardik said PNS' units have been formed in 16 States and he was today unanimously elected as its National President. Hardik claims Kurmis and Gujjars belong to Patel community and called by these names outside Gujarat.
The combined strength of these three communities is more than 27 crore in India, said the 22-year-old commerce graduate who shot into limelight when Patels launched a stir in Gujarat in support of their demand for reservation.
"Till now, more than 7.8 lakh members of Kurmi-Patel communities have joined PNS. We will hold 16 rallies in 16 different states during the next 12 months. We expect that more than 4 lakh of our members will participate in each of these mega rallies," Hardik told PTI.
To press for demand for reservation to Kurmi-Patels under OBC quota in Uttar Pradesh, Hardik said the outfit will organise a mega meet in Lucknow next month.
"On October 31, which is the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, our organisation will take out a mega rally in Lucknow to demand reservation for Kurmi-Patels," he said.
The show of strength exercise will then move to New Delhi, where the young leader addressed a gathering of Gujjar and Kurmi communities late last month.
"After a gap of around one-and-a-half months, we will take out a massive rally in Delhi. We expect more than 50 lakh of our members to participate in that rally," said Hardik.
On August 25, Hardik-led Patidar Ananmat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), which has been spearheading the quota stir in Gujarat, held a mammoth gathering of Patels in Ahmedabad. After his brief detention that day, violence erupted across the State, which claimed 10 lives and caused extensive damage to public property.