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Cong MLA backs Patel community stir; party says views personal

Ahmedabad: Congress MLA from Vijapur, Prahlad Patel, today came out in support of the Patel community’s ongoing agitation demanding OBC status for them.

His party, however, was quick to distance itself and said the views expressed by the legislator in support of the community were his “personal”.

Patel, the MLA from Mehsana district, today wrote a letter to Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, in which he has urged the government to provide reservation for Patidars (Patel) community in the state.

“The Patel community has been holding protests and rallies to press for their demand for reservation, in different talukas and districts of the state for quite some time,” the letter said.

“Education is getting costlier day by day since the BJP came to the power in Gujarat and Patels have to face hardships to provide education to their children. However, despite educating them, children from the community are not being employed,” it said.

“Around 70 per cent of youths from Patel community are unemployed. When the state government is providing freebies to the big industrialists, why it cannot come with an exclusive scheme for job for Patel community youths,” it added.

Playing the caste-card, he said, “I am a son of a Patel farmer. You are the Chief Minister of state and also hail from Patel community. In this context, I urge you that youths of Patel community should not remain unemployed and they should be given benefit of reservation in education and jobs.