Quota stir: Patidar Anamat Andolan to step up stir; to invite Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee for rallies

PAAS also plans to invite social activist Anna Hazare, Jat quota leader Yashpal Malik, Gujjar quota leader Colonel KS Bainsla as well as Himmatsinh.

Ahmedabad: The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti on Friday announced to intensify its agitation over the Patel quota issue, adding that it would invite prominent politicians from other states, including Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray to address the rallies.

The organisation, which is spearheading the Patel quota movement, said that it would organise several rallies till the end of this year to highlight their demands and the next round of agitation will start from Visnagar in Mehsana district on May 8.

The decision comes in the wake of Gujarat government's recent decision to provide 10 per cent reservation for Economically Backward Classes (EBC).

To chalk out their road map for the agitation, several PAAS leaders, including Akhilesh Katiyar, who is also the national general secretary of Patel Navnirman Sena (PNS), today held a meeting near Gandhinagar.

Talking to reporters before the meet, Katiyar rejected the 10 per cent reservation announced by the Gujarat government.

"We never demanded reservation under EBC quota. Since the beginning of our stir, we have been demanding inclusion of Patels under the OBC quota only. Since our demand is not fulfilled, we will intensify our stir in the coming months by involving national leaders," said Katiyar.

Convener of Saurashtra unit of PAAS, Lalit Vasoya, said, "The next round of agitation will see presence of several national leaders, such as Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. They will be invited here to address rallies and gatherings in the coming months."

PAAS also plans to invite social activist Anna Hazare, Jat quota leader Yashpal Malik, Gujjar quota leader Colonel KS Bainsla as well as Himmatsinh.

"We will also take the agitation at national level by organizing a huge gathering in Delhi," he added.

After the meeting, PAAS released a list of rallies and gatherings they have planned to hold across Gujarat.

On May 8, Patels will hold a maha-panchayat in Visnagar, followed by foot-marches, rallies and gatherings in parts of the state at regular intervals till the end of December.

Meanwhile, a fresh letter written by the jailed PAAS leader Hardik Patel surfaced today, in which, he has urged his community members not to invite any politician in any of the programmes organised by the Patels.

The letter has been addressed to his Surat-based lawyer Yashwantsinh Vala, who shared it with media today.

In the letter, Hardik, who is lodged in Lajpore jail in Surat, also asked his community not to attend any function of two of their biggest religious bodies - Khodaldham and Umiyadham, as he feels that leaders of these bodies are working against the interests of Patels.

In a veiled attack on the BJP that has been ruling Gujarat since 1995, Hardik alleged that 6.5 crore people of the state have been fooled by politicians since the last 20 years.