Quota row: Gujarat Patel leaders get permission to hold rally

The city police have permitted Patel community leaders demanding reservation under the OBC quota, to hold their rally at the GMDC ground here on August 25, officials said on Thursday.

Ahmedabad: The city police have permitted Patel community leaders demanding reservation under the OBC quota, to hold their rally at the GMDC ground here on August 25, officials said on Thursday.

"Today, we gave permission to Patel community leaders to hold their rally at GMDC ground here on August 25," Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) Vikas Sahay told PTI.

When asked whether any conditions were attached while granting the permission, the police official said, "They (Patel leaders) asked for permission to hold a rally for three lakh people and we have granted it".

However, Ketan Patel, a community leader, said that around 25 lakh people would participate in the rally to press for their demand of job reservations under the OBC quota.

"Today, we received permission to hold our rally at GMDC ground here. When we began this movement for reservation, it was hard to get 50,000 people to our rallies. Now, after the movement has increased spontaneously, we expect more than 25 lakh people to participate on August 25," Patel said.

After meeting Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and city police officials, Patel leaders agreed to their proposal to hold the rally at GMDC ground near IIM crossroads instead of the earlier proposed venue of Sabarmati Riverfront.

After the meeting, Deputy Municipal Commissioner S M Khatri announced that the AMC would give permission to park vehicles at the Riverfront.

"AMC will permit vehicle parking near Vallabh Sadan at the Riverfront. Police personnel will be deployed to manage the crowd. At present, we have no idea about how many vehicles will get there during the rally on August 25," Khatri said.

Earlier, Patel leaders were adamant on holding the rally at the Sabarmati Riverfront and had refused to shift the venue to anywhere else.

To break the deadlock and bring about an amicable solution, a meeting was called at the AMC office in Usmanpura area of the city.  

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