Ahmedabad: Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, who has put forward a set of demands before the Congress as a pre-condition for extending support to the party in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls, on Saturday asked it to make its stand clear by November 3 on how it would ensure reservation for the community.
In a tweet, he also threatened that the Patidar community would oppose Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during his visit to Surat on November 3, like it did to BJP president Amit Shah during one of his public gatherings in the city.
"3/11/2017 tak Congress Patidar ko Samvedhanik aarakshan kaise dengi, us mudde par apna stand clear kar de nahi to Amit Shah jaisa mamla Surat mein hoga (Congress should make its stand clear by November 3 on how it will provide reservation to the Patidar community under the Constitution, otherwise the Amit Shah episode will be repeated in Surat)," he tweeted.
3/11/2017तक कोंग्रेस पाटीदार को संवैधानिक आरक्षण कैसे देंगी,उस मुद्दे पर अपना स्टेण्ड क्लीयर कर दे नहीं तो अमित शाह जैसा मामला सूरत में होगा— Hardik Patel (@HardikPatel_) October 28, 2017
On September 8, 2016, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) members disrupted an event where Patidar leaders were facilitated. Members threw chairs as Amit Shah spoke and shouted “Hardik, Hardik,” and “Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar”.
Dinesh Bambhaniya, a PAAS convener, said the organisation and the community it represented would take a call on whether to support the Congress in the Assembly polls only after the opposition party made its stand clear on the issue.
He asserted that Hardik or anyone else from the PAAS had no plans to meet Rahul Gandhi until the Congress convinced the Patidar leaders as regards how would it ensure reservation for the community.
This reaction from Patel comes as a shock for Congress which is moving rapidly to firm up alliance with Patidar community leader Hardik Patel. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is also expected to meet the Patidar leader on November 1.
Hardik Patel had said that he was scheduled to meet Rahul during the latter's Gujarat visit between November 1 and 3.
"If he promises OBC status when the Congress is voted to power in Gujarat, PAAS will declare its support to the Congress for the assembly elections," Patel had said.
The 24-year-old Hardik Patel had told the media that assurances by senior Congress leaders of support for the community's demand for Other Backward Classes (OBC) status - guaranteeing quotas in jobs and education, could see him return the favour.
The Congress has so far maintained that it will offer a 20-per cent reservation to the economically backward classes (EBC), without disturbing the 49-per cent reservation given to the scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST) and other backward classes (OBC)....