OBC quota: Hardik Patel to hold mega rally, calls for Ahmedabad bandh

Ahmedabad: Ahead of the mass gathering of Patel community members here today to press for their demand of OBC quota, their leaders, including Hardik Patel, had said they will also take out a ‘Maha Kranti Rally’ to the district Collector’s office even if police does not grant permission for it.

The community leaders also called for a city bandh today in view of their proposed rally.

According to the convener of ‘Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti’ Hardik Patel, who is leading the agitation demanding reservation for Patels under OBC quota, the ‘Maha-Kranti Rally’ will be organised after the mass gathering at GMDC ground, where at least 25 lakh people of Patel community are expected to take part.

The announcement to organise a rally after the mass gathering may come as a surprise to administrators as till sunday there was no application made to take out the rally, but only the mass public meeting.

“Our community members will start arriving at the venue from 8 AM onwards to take part in the mass gathering at GMDC ground. The gathering will be addressed by our leaders at around 11.30 AM. After that, we will take out our ‘Maha-Kranti Rally’ to hand over memorandum to the district Collector,” Patel said during a press conference here.

“We expect that at least 25 lakh people would attend the gathering and rally. Thus, to avoid any inconvenience to locals, we have called for a complete ‘bandh’ of city as well as of Gujarat. I appeal to authorities to close schools, colleges and other businesses,” said Patel.
Sunday, Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) Vikas Sahay had clearly stated that the permission was given only for the gathering at GMDC ground and not for the rally, as the samiti had not applied for it till Sunday.

However, turning the tables on the police, Patel on monday claimed that the rally is very much on their agenda.

“We will apply for permission for the maha rally today. I am sure that the police will cooperate and give us permission. Even if they don’t give permission, we will definitely organise the rally,” Hardik said.

The proposed rally will pass through one of the most busiest areas of western part of city and cover almost 7 km, before ending at Collector’s office near RTO circle.

According to Patel, the rally will commence from GMDC ground and then reach the Sardar Patel cross roads in Navrangpura via Helmate cross roads and Commerce Six Roads.

He said that the rally will not be cancelled at any cost.