Rajkot: Members of the Patel (Patidar) community on Wednesday held a mega rally in the city and submitted a memorandum to the District Collector seeking reservation in education and government jobs due to what they claimed was their "deteriorating" financial and social status in Gujarat.
The well-attended rally was organised by the city-based Sardar Patel Seva Dal (SPSD) and supported by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).
Tight security arrangements were made for the rally. The rally saw a state government function being cancelled that was to be attended by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. The chief minister was to distribute recruitment letters to a group of youths, but the programme was called off due to the massive rally.
Similar rallies were also taken out in other cities in the Saurashtra region.
Ashwin Sorathiya, convener of SPSD, said, "The rally started from Bahumali Bhavan near Race Course and ended at the Collector's office, where the community leaders submitted a memorandum to Collector Manisha Chandra."
The memorandum claimed that the "Patidar (Patel) community has been given no benefits since India became independent".
"Therefore, the government should either give reservation to the community or set up a Vikas Aayog (development commission) for its benefit."
"The community is facing a tough time and their social, financial and education condition in the state is deteriorating by the day," it added.
The Patels are mostly engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry, which are season-dependent occupations, said the memorandum.
"At the time of insufficient rain, the community has to suffer a lot. Therefore, its members should be given reservation in education and government jobs to support themselves," it added.