With Assembly elections fast approaching, the Patidar community has put forth its demands and urged the political parties to take them on board. The Patidar community in Gujarat believes it should have an electoral share of at least 18% in the state. Sidsar Umiya Dham trust president Jairam Patel said, “Patidar’s electoral share in the state is 18%, the community dominates in 69 assembly seats and decides the fate of candidates, so each party should nominate Patidar candidates on these seats.”
Patel further said that the community will present demands that it feels are their right. However, it is up to the political parties on how much share it allocates to the Patidars. He said that the Patidars understand that other communities, too, have a right to demand electoral share.
Another major concern that the Patidar community has raised, is that of ‘Love marriages. The community has said that the government should keep a check on love marriages, especially since ‘love jihad’ has become a major challenge for the community. R P Patel, president of the Vishwa Umiya Dham Foundation, also backed this suggestion.
The community said that the government should amend the marriage act to make either parent’s signature mandatory for love marriages. This should be particularly applicable if it is a case of inter-caste or inter-religion marriage.
Explaining this further, Jairam Patel said that the girls, who live as paying guests and in such facilities, easily fall prey to love traps. Previous data show that those girls who live in hostels run by the communities are much safer in this regard.
This demand comes after Sarthana Police Station in Surat made a shocking revelation two months back. According to data, in the Sarthana police station area, there have been complaints of 390 teen and young adult girls eloping. The Patidar community has taken this matter seriously.