New Delhi: Even as Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is expected to meet Patidar leader Hardik Patel during his visit to Gujarat in November, party strategists are in no mood to give in to the Patidar demand for reservation under the existing OBC quota in the state.
A Congress leader said that since Patels have traditionally been BJP supporters, the PAAS contesting alone would mean that it substantially eats into the Patidar vote.
According to the Congress’ spin doctors, giving in to the Patidars’ demand for reservation under the OBC quota will backfire and lead to the party losing OBC votes, especially since OBC leader Alpesh Thakore recently joined the Congress. Under the existing reservation plan, OBCs, who are about 40 per cent of Gujarat’s population, have 27 per cent reservation. In addition to this, Scheduled Castes have seven per cent reservation and Scheduled Tribes 15 per cent. This means that Gujarat already has 49 per cent reservation, one per cent less than the maximum reservation the Supreme Court allows.