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Patel agitation: Gujarat BJP puts off party meet in Ahmedabad

In the wake of state-wide protests by Patel community members for OBC status, Gujarat BJP on Thursday announced postponement of a party conference slated in Ahmedabad tomorrow, citing ‘unavailability’ of senior leaders. However, officially the BJP said the event, ‘Vijay Vishwas Sammelan’, is being deferred due to busy schedule of party leaders.

“We have postponed tomorrow’s Vijay Vishwas Sammelan here owing to busy schedule of our senior leaders. It has nothing to do with the Patel agitation. We have just postponed it for now and it will be organised in coming days,” said state BJP spokesman Harshad Patel.

The sammelan is an exercise by state BJP to boost confidence of their workers and leaders ahead of local body polls in Gujarat. Under this drive, being held between September 12-19, BJP leaders are holding conferences (sammelans) in all major cities and towns of Gujarat to provide guidance to workers for the local body polls expected to be held in coming months.

Some of the key leaders associated with the exercise include BJP National Vice-President Parshottam Rupala and state BJP President R C Faldu. However, the Patel community members are giving a tough time to BJP leaders and ministers in Gujarat by staging protests outside the venues of government and party events.

Recently, Rupala was heckled and forced to leave a party programme in Mehsana district by the community members, who want BJP leaders to clear their stand about the demand of Patels for reservation under OBC quota. Similar protests took place across Gujarat in the last few days, where the ruling party leaders faced the ire of agitating Patel community and many a time forced to leave events mid-way.