New Delhi/Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday appealed for peace in Gujarat, adding violence does not benefit anybody.
Dialogue is a way to resolve the issue, not violence, said the PM.
Modi's appeal came amidst a state-wide shutdown being observed in Gujarat, a day after a Patidar mega-rally was held in Ahmedabad demanding reservations in education and jobs for the Patel community.
Making an appeal in Gujarati over television, he said, "I appeal to all brothers and sisters of Gujarat that they should not resort to violence. The only 'Mantra' must be 'Shanti' (peace)."
The Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to the welfare of all people and that all issues can be resolved peacefully through discussions.
In his statement against the backdrop of the violence in his home state after a Patel leader was detained briefly last night, Modi said, "Gujarat is a land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel."
Asking everybody in the state to make effort to take Gujarat to new heights of development, the former chief minister said, "Violence has never done good for anyone. All issues can be resolved peacefully through talks."
He said it is only through development and by working together that people, especially the poor, can be served.
"Once again, I appeal to the people of Gujarat to maintain peace. Violence will never achieve anything... Everybody should respect democratic values," he said.
Here is what he said:
Hardik Patel, 22, convener of Patidaar Arakshan Andolan Samiti (PAAS) was detained and taken into custody by the police after he launched a sudden hunger strike at the GMDC Ground late Tuesday evening.
After being released, Patel appealed to his followers for peace and restraint, and also announced a state-wide shutdown on Wednesday.
Earlier, he had served a 48-hour ultimate to the state government to concede the PAAS demands following which he said agitation would be intensified.
As news of the police action on Patel spread, angry Patidars reacted violently in different parts of the state, attacking public and private properties, buses, vehicles, even as Chief Minister Anandiben Patel appealed for peace.
As per tentative counts, more than 100 buses have been damaged in different cities, while several private cars and motorcycles were set on fire in different parts of the state.
Tuesday's mammoth mega-rally had over 1.20 million Patidars. It capped a 55-day long agitation across the state with scores of mini-rallies in different towns and cities for the main demands of the Patel community.
(With IANS inputs)