Quota stir: To ramp up support, Hardik meets Patel bizmen

Patel reservation stir leader Hardik Patel, who recently parted ways with Sardar Patel Group (SPG) which has for long remained at forefront on the issue, today met with leading businessmen of Saurashtra region to seek support for the cause.

“I met leading businessmen of Saurashtra region to seek their support for our agitation,” Hardik told reporters here as held meetings with some prominent businessmen of the community in Rajkot last night.

Hardik, convener of Patidar Anamant Andolan Samiti (PAAS), split with SPG after their mega rally for reservation on August 25 in Ahmedabad sparked violence across the state, killing ten persons.

The violence has reportedly led to dwindling in Hardik’s support base among top leaders of Patel community and businessmen.

Meanwhile, the SPG has appealed to its community members to begin a ‘economic non-cooperation’ movement of sorts by withdrawing their bank deposits across Gujarat.

Hardik said he also interacted with leaders of two leading religious trusts of the community, namely ‘Khodaldham’ and ‘Umiyadham’.

Hardik will stay put in Saurashtra for three days during which he will visit towns like Dhoraji, Upleta and Jam Kandorana of Rajkot district, dominated by Patels.

He also dismissed reports of any dispute between the Khodaldham Trust and PAAS.

“I am meeting leaders of the Patel community to spread our demand to get reservation under OBC quota and all of them have supported us so far. Khodaldham trust, which initially did not support PAAS agitation, has also extended its support to us,” he said.

Hardik said he is likely to meet Khodaldham Trust president and leading businessman Naresh Patel.

Taking a swipe at state government over its development model, Hardik said, “rich people are getting richer and poor people are becoming poorer. How can one call this as development?”

PAAS will organise rallies in different part of the country to press for their demands, he said, adding that the outfit extend support to any community from upper class for reservation.