Congress leader Hardik Patel on Monday said that if the government doesn’t withdraw the cases against the Patidar youths, then we will launch a statewide agitation by March 23. “Today, I am not speaking as a party leader, but as an agitator”, he added.
Patel, who was in Rajkot, addressed a press conference stating that the 2015 Patidar movement achieved a youth self-reliance scheme, 10% economic standard reservation and an increase in the age limit of 5 years for government jobs.
Hardik Patel, who is also facing sedition charges said that he was not warning of agitation to get cases against him withdrawn. “If charges against me are not withdrawn, then it is okay. I will not be able to fight elections for a few more years,” he remarked.
He clarified, “It isn’t that the agitation will be organised because Gujarat is facing an election this year. We have been hearing that the government is withdrawing the cases, but nothing has been done so far,” Hardik said.
Following the 2015 agitation, the Central government had announced a 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections of society that do not fall under any other category.
Hardik said, “False cases are filed against many young people including myself because we are fighting for the young and poor of Gujarat, we had requested the state government more than 30 times to withdraw these cases, but no decision has been taken yet.”
He added that Patidar leaders from social and religious organisations had met the new chief minister Bhupendra Patel, but no cases have been withdrawn. He said that if need be, he would resign from the post of Gujarat state Congress working president and take part in the agitation.
Hardik Patel complimented Anandiben Patel for withdrawing cases during her stint as the chief minister. He, however, said that no cases were withdrawn during the tenure of Vijay Rupani, who succeeded Anandiben.