Ahmedabad came to a halt on Tuesday as in a massive show of strength the Patel community under the banner of Patidar Aarakshan Andolan Samiti held a rally in the city, demanding reservation under the OBC category. Their contention is that since Patel youth are neither getting admissions in colleges nor jobs in the government, the community should be given 27% quota in government jobs and education.
The Patel community led by its 21-year-old leader Hardik Patel made their way to the district collector’s office on Tuesday afternoon. Most walked the five-odd kilometres from the GMDC ground.
Earlier, at the public ground, Patel put the BJP government in Gujarat on notice in several hard-hitting speeches.
“If this government does not heed our demands, the lotus will not bloom in 2017,” said Patel, addressing an estimated three lakh members of the influential Patel community, seen as a crucial BJP vote-bank in the state.
The young businessman, who has recently shot into fame as the leader of the Patel agitation in Gujarat, emphasised that his movement is not aligned to any political party. “I am not attached to any party. Our fight is against the present system,” Patel said.
Accounting for 12% of Gujarat’s population, the Patels are among the economically strong communities of the state.