New Delhi: After saying that he wants to be the next Sardar Patel, Hardik is evoking Mahatma Gandhi by claiming that he will organise a reverse Dandi March. According to a leading news channel, the march will be organised on September 5 from Dandi to Sabarmati Ashram. The 22-year-old has continued to dominate the headlines, and in a recent interview, criticised the Gujarat model claiming that it helped the rich become richer and poor poorer.
He also claimed that he admired Bal Thackeray’s firepower and Arvind Kejriwal’s vision. The youngster also wanted US-style gun laws which he said could help contain crime. The agitation for quotas for Patels in government jobs and educational institutions will be expanded to other states and include castes like Kurmis and Gujjars, Hardik Patel, who led the stir that plunged Gujarat into violence said. “Whatever has happened in Gujarat, we want to take it to the national level and there are (people of) around 12 states who are connected to us,” 22-year-old Patel, leader of the upper caste Patidar community, which wants to muscle its way to the quota list, told journalists in Delhi.
Patel, who met some leaders of the Kurmi, Koeri and Gujjar communities among others with whom he said the Patidars of Gujarat had kinship, said the agitation for reservation was “a marathon and not a 100-metre race”, which had to be run over 1-2 years. Kurmis and Koeris, about whom Patel talked, already figure in reservation list in key Hindi heartland states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, which also has Gujjars in that category. The firebrand young Patel leader of Gujarat, whose photographs brandishing a gun had been published in some national dailies a few days ago, had led a massive rally of his castemen in Ahmedabad on August 25 to seek quotas for them. (Read: Hardik Patel wants US-style gun laws)
His detention was followed by widespread violence which claimed 10 lives, including that of a police constable, forcing the rare deployment of the army to bring the situation under control. “It (agitation) is a marathon and not a 100-metre race. It will go on for 1-2 years. I intend to bring 27 crore people of our community together who are in different states. I want to take our movement all over the nation. Wherever the Patel community needs me, I will go. “During this time, if we feel there is the need to show the muscle power of the community, we will do. Whenever required, they (these communities) will block the highways,” Patel told a news conference at the Delhi Press Club. (Read: All you need to know about Hardik Patel)
“We intend to organise a mega rally in Lucknow, at Jantar Mantar in Delhi…. we will give a call to the Patels of India (to join the movement),” he said. Patel favoured reservation for the poor belonging to all communities as he denounced caste-based quotas. “The country has gone back 60 years because of reservations and this has hindered its prospects of becoming a super power. Those who score good marks but are still unable to get admission require reservation. “The day there is a proper blueprint on reservation, we can strengthen our country and take it to a new level,” he said.
With inputs from PTI