AHMEDABAD: Hardik Patel, the leader of Patel reservation agitation, today termed the special scheme of Gujarat government for bright students of all categories as a "lollipop" for his community.
"Prima facie it seems that the special scheme is a lollipop for the Patel community. Whatever has been offered is nothing new but a modified version of old schemes for the economically backward category," Hardik, convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), said. "However, we will make our stand clear after discussing the scheme with members, workers and leaders of PAAS and the Patel community," he added.
"Our agitation is on...As our demands are not mentioned in the special scheme, the agitation will not be either stopped or postponed," said Hardik. Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel earlier today announced a special scheme with substantial fee waivers for students across communities.
The 'Mukhyamantri Yuva Swavlamban Yojna' (Chief Minister's Youth Self-Reliance Scheme) will benefit the students, irrespective of caste, whose family income is not more than Rs 4.5 lakh per annum. Another leading group from the Gujarat's Patel community, 'Patidar Sankalan Samiiti', hailed the scheme.
"We welcome the special scheme announced by the Chief Minister...many of our demands about special relief to general category students were fulfilled," said Nachiket Mukhi, Samiti's convener. "We will analyse the scheme and if needed we will discuss our pending issues with the Chief Minister Anandiben as she herself has invited suggestions on the scheme," added Mukhi.
About Hardik's stand on the scheme, Mukhi said, "One of his (Hardik's) team members, Mahesh Patel, was present during the announcement of the scheme. Hardik wants to play politics on this as well but the Patel community will not tolerate it."