Gujarat: Patidar body demands withdrawal of cases, backwardness survey

The group that spearheaded the stir, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), now headed by Alpesh Kathiriya, had on Monday called a meeting at Gandhinagar where it put forward its demands.

Published: 04th October 2021 10:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th October 2021 10:10 PM   |  A+A-

Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti head Alpesh Kathiriya

Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti head Alpesh Kathiriya (Photo | YouTube screengrab)

By PTI

AHMEDABAD: Patidar quota agitators in Gujarat have revived their demand for withdrawal of cases lodged during the 2015 stir and also called for a backwardness survey for the inclusion of the community in the Other Backward Classes category.

The group that spearheaded the stir, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), now headed by Alpesh Kathiriya, had on Monday called a meeting at Gandhinagar, with some 100 members, including Dinesh Bambhania and Dharmik Malaviya, attending it.

After the meeting, Kathiriya told reporters PAAS would make a representation to the BJP government in Gujarat about these pending demands and wait for a reply till October 31, the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

"As many as 14 Patidar youths died during the quota agitation in 2015. We want government jobs to a kin of each of the deceased. The state government had promised to withdraw cases against agitators, but at least 250 cases are yet to be withdrawn," he said.

Kathiriya said the state government must also withdraw four cases of sedition lodged against the main agitators, including himself and former quota spearhead Hardik Patel, who is now the working president of Gujarat Congress.

"It is a wrong perception that sedition cases cannot be withdrawn. During today's meeting, we made a presentation on this issue and showed how the Rajasthan government withdrew 100 sedition cases. Our demands are not new. We have been demanding this for a long time," the PAAS leader said.

About the survey of backwardness, if any, prevailing in the Patidar community, he said the Parliament had recently passed the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, which has restored the rights of states to identify Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

"Before deciding whether Patidars are eligible for reservation under OBC category, the state government needs to first conduct a survey. We want the government to order a survey of backwardness and then take a call about the inclusion of Patidars in the OBC list," said Kathiriya.

He said PAAS will give a memorandum on these demands to the state government soon and wait for an invitation for talks with the latter.

"Meanwhile, PAAS will reach out to the community in each city and district and spread awareness about these pending demands. We will also form a new team. If the government does not take a call on our demands by October 31, we will meet again and decide on our future course of action," he said.

"Normally, demands are heard ahead of elections, as political parties are always afraid of losing votes. Thus, we are confident of getting a solution this time," he claimed.

The Assembly elections in Gujarat are expected to be held in December 2022.



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