AHMEDABAD: Gujarat government today once again denied permission to Hardik Patel's "reverse Dandi march" scheduled tomorrow, although the Patel quota agitation leader is adamant to go ahead with their protest programme "at any cost".
The government had refused to grant its nod to Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti's (PAAS) plan to take out the reverse Dandi march last Sunday (September 6). Since the march from Dandi to Ahmedabad, aimed at pressing for the demand for inclusion of the Patel community in OBC category for reservation, did not work out last week, the PAAS had sought government's permission to hold it tomorrow.
Meanwhile, registering their protest against Patels' march, members of the OBC community-- Navsari's Koli community and Macchi community-- on behalf of the OBC Ekta Manch, had also sought administration's permission to take out counter rallies against the Patels. However, Navsari District Collector today denied permission to all the groups, including the PAAS, to carry out the protest programmes.
"We have rejected all the three applications (to hold the rallies) that we had received, including one application given by one Alpesh Kathiria of PAAS," Navsari District Collector R M Muthudath told PTI.
"Applications from one Kaushik Patel, a representative of Koli community and one from Macchi samaj for permission to hold pratikar (counter) rallies, have also been denied," she said adding that the decision was taken to maintain law and order and for the security of people.
Hardik, who had cancelled the reverse Dandi march last Sunday, said this time they would go ahead with the "massive" rally at any cost.
"The maha sangram (big battle) of Dandi will be there tomorrow. The march will begin with 78 people and later in the day around 50,000 people will join it," Hardik said. "I bow down before people of Gujarat and urge them to support us in the fight of getting our rights. We are not against anyone, so please support us rather than opposing us. Police and the government should support us tomorrow as this agitation is not limited to Gujarat. 14 regions of the country that means 8.70 crore people are with us," Hardik said. "I am not concerned about my arrest, but I am worried that if I get arrested, then the entire country will protest," the Patel agitation spearhead said.