“I regret the agitation. I though law-making was a simple process but failed to see the complexities that must be balanced while drafting laws,” stated Gujarat BJP MLA and Patidar leader Hardik Patel. He was speaking to the media on Tuesday, having attended his first ever workings of the Assembly during the ongoing Budget session.
It may be recalled that Patel jumped ship from the Congress and joined the BJP ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls. His meteoric rise as a firebrand leader during the Patidar agitation between 2015 and 2017 made him a name no party could ignore. In fact, the agitation cost the then CM Anandiben Patel her chair.
Patel’s demand was reservation for the Patidars and inclusion of the community in the OBC (Other Backward Classes). Several lives were lost and the properties damaged across Gujarat. Among the many charges slapped on Patel were sedition and rioting too, with some cases still pending.
“During the agitation, we were demanding laws. In our minds, it appeared to be a simple process given that the problem was clear and the solution clearer. What we forgot is that modalities have to be worked out, laws have to be evened out and most importantly, nothing can be approved with discussion. The last one week has been an eye-opener of sorts. The House has debated issues such as impact fees, compulsory teaching of Gujarati language and funds for infra boost. The Opposition if free to give suggestions or counter directly. On the streets, it is a raw fight, speeches, marches and agitations. That was easier than sitting within the confines of the House and debating laws,” he shared.
Earlier, state education minister Kuber Singh Dindor introduced a Bill to make compulsory, the teaching of Gujarati language from classes 1 to 8 across all schools. Gujarati writers have been demanding the same since a while.
Speaking on the issue of making Gujarati language compulsory all schools across the state, Patel hailed the move stating that written and spoken regional languages need to be preserved. The Bill comes into effect from the academic session 2023-24.