The Gujarat cabinet today gave nod for the formation of a commission and a corporation for the communities which are outside the purview of reservations, in an apparent bid to placate the Patidar community ahead of the Assembly polls. The BJP government, facing the community’s demand for reservations in jobs and educational institutes, had already announced that a commission would be formed. “The cabinet has given approval for the formation of a corporation to take care of various needs of non-reserved classes, including Patidars. This body will provide financial help in the form of loans and subsidies for education, business or agriculture,” Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said after the cabinet meeting in Gandhinagar today. “The cabinet also gave its approval for the formation of a commission to address other needs of Patidars and other non-reserved classes. Both bodies will work together,” he said. The government has asked officials of the home and legal departments to start the process of withdrawing cases lodged against members of the Patidar community during the agitation for quota two years ago, he added.
However, Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel said the government hasn’t come up with anything new. “Though I welcome the formation of commission and a corporation, I think there is nothing new in it. The government should announce the date from which these bodies would start functioning,” Hardik told reporters in Rajkot. Yesterday, Nitin Patel held a meeting with Hardik Patel and other Patidar leaders to try and reach a compromise formula ahead of the Assembly polls due later this year. Hardik Patel said afterwards that the talks yielded no results, and vowed to continue the agitation for quota.