Ahmedabad: The Congress party and the leaders of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) will meet on Monday to hold talks about the issue of giving reservation to Patels in Gujarat.
The meeting will be held at the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters here in the afternoon.
Today's meeting hold significance as Hardik Patel – the influential Patel community leader - had set a November 3 deadline for the Congress to clarify its stand on the issue of reservation to the members of his community.
Patel had threatened to disrupt Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s November 3 rally in Surat if the reservation in the OBC category wasn’t assured.
“The Congress party should make their stand clear on how they give reservation to Patidar community by November 3 or they will face a similar kind of situation as had Amit Shah, in Surat,” Hardik Patel had tweeted recently.
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
The PASS core committee had passed a resolution on Saturday, warning the Congress to promise the OBC quota or face consequences.
The committee authorised Bambania to declare the group’s stand after Patel threatened to disrupt the Congress vice president’s rally unless the party cleared its position on reservation.
“They should tell us how they can include Patidars in existing 27% OBC quota in Gujarat,” Dinesh Bambania, the group’s co-convenor, said.
GPCC president Bharatsinh Solanki has invited us for talks at 2 pm on Monday, Bambhaniya, the co-convenor of PASS, was quoted as saying by media reports.
A delegation of PAAS including me and Alpesh Kathiriya will meet Solanki, he added.
In an interview recently, GPCC chief Bharatsinh Solanki had said that his party would give EBC reservation to the Patidars.
Miffed after close ties between the Patidar leaders and Congress, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had said that Congress’s stand on the reservation is contrary to the demands of Patidar community.
The Congress had earlier promised to give reservation to Patels without affecting the quotas of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes.
“I think, the Congress’s stand is clear from the beginning. Hardik’s demand was to bring the Patidars in the OBC quota. The Congress has not been doing it since the beginning, and still, Hardik is supporting the Congress,” Rupani said.
With PTI inputs