MEHSANA: Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and his supporters were today stopped by police from meeting Gujarat Minister of State for Home Rajni Patel at a function here today.
Hardik, who heads the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), has started a campaign where a rose is offered to Patel MLAs and they are asked whether they back the community's demand of inclusion in the OBC category.
Rajni Patel was today scheduled to attend a program at the Sarvajanik School here where allotment letters were to be distributed to the talathis (village revenue officers).
Hardik had announced that he would be meeting the minister at the event and give him a rose.
Hardik and his supporters reached the venue moments after the program started at around 4 PM. However, the police, deployed in a large number, stopped them at the entrance and forced them to leave without meeting the minister.
"There were no detentions or arrests," said the Mehsana Superintendent of Police, J R Mothalia, adding that Hardik "didn't create any trouble". The program passed off peacefully.
More than two thousand women from the Patel community had also gathered outside to protest against the minister for the alleged police atrocities during the Patels' agitation last month. However, they too were disappointed as the minister used another gate to enter and leave.
Before trying to confront Rajni Patel, Hardik went to Palanpur in Banaskantha district to meet the local Congress MLA Mahesh Patel, who accepted a rose from the Patel leader and also announced his support for the agitation.
"All Patels are not prosperous. There are many in the community who need help. I extend my support to Hardik and his team for ongoing agitation against the government," said the Congress MLA.