Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel today expressed satisfaction over the three options given by the Congress on how the party would grant reservation to Patels if voted to power and said the community leaders will take a final call by tomorrow. After studying various documents related to reservation given by the Congress earlier, Hardik claimed that it was a misconception that reservation cannot go beyond 50 per cent. These options, backed by various provisions in the Constitution and past judgements by the Supreme Court, were submitted to the members of Hardik-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti(PAAS) on November 8 by senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal as part of party’s promise that it would grant reservation to the community if voted to power.
“I held a detailed discussion with core PAAS members about the options given to us by Congress. After going through various documents and judgements, I now firmly believe that their formula is right. It is a misconception that reservation cannot go beyond 50 per cent,” Hardik said. He said it is not written anywhere in the Constitution that quota cannot go beyond 50 per cent. Citing some past judgements by the Supreme Court, Hardik said the apex court had given contradictory judgements about reservation.
“In one instance, the SC said that quota can’t go beyond 50 per cent. But, another judgement had said reservation beyond that limit can be granted by conducting a survey. Patel community in Madhya Pradesh was included under OBC quota in 1994. Similarly, Patidars in Gujarat can also get reservation,” he told reporters. “Since PAAS core members are convinced with the three formulas, which are similar in nature, we will discuss it among community leaders of two of our supreme bodies — Umiya Dham and Khodal Dham — and take a final call by tomorrow evening,” the fire-brand leader said.
Hardik had earlier set a condition that he would support the Congress in the Assembly elections, due next month, only if the party committed itself to allotting reservation in education and government jobs to his community.
The polling for the two-phase elections in Gujarat will take place on December 9 and 14 and votes will be counted on December 18.