Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Monday gave a new deadline to the Congress, asking it to make its stand clear by Novemeber 7 on how it would ensure reservation for the community.
Hardik also said that the party has accepted four of the five conditions put forward by him, according to media reports. However, on the main demand of reservation, Congress said that it is a technical issue, and a decision will be taken after it takes legal advice.
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“Patidar leaders put forward their point, we'll go to legal expert and then take things forward,” said Congress leader Bharatsinh Solanki.
Leaders of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and Congress met today to discuss over the demands put forward by Hardik over reservation.
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Hardik Patel, who skipped the meeting, said the next round of negotiations will be the final.
"If we have been fighting for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for two-and-a-half years, then waiting for a few days is no a big deal. But the next meeting on the issue will be the last and final," he told reporters.
Addressing the media, Hardik gave details about the four demands that the Congress agreed to.
1. According to Hardik, Congress has agreed that if it comes into power, it will withdraw the criminal cases filed against Patidars in connection with the violence that broke out during the Patel quota agitation. He said Congress has agreed that 290 out of 590 cases will be withdrawn, including those of sedition.
2. Congress has also agreed to give a compensation of Rs 35 lakh each to the families of victims of Patel quota agitation. According to Hardik, Congress has also ensured government job to one of the family members of each victim.
3. The third demand by the Patidar was over the inaction over the police officials who baton-charged and fired on Patidars during the quota movement. According to Hardik, Congress has ensured to appoint an inquiry committee which will look into it and take proper action against those found guilty.
4. According to Hardik, Congress has agreed to take the commission – formed by the BJP for the community – up from Rs 600 crore to Rs 2,000 crore, and has also ensures to institute it constitutionally.
Hardik has put forward a set of demands before the Congress as a pre-condition for extending support to the party in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls.
Patel had, on Saturday, asked the Congress to make its stand clear by November 3 on how it would ensure reservation for the Patidar community.
In a tweet, he had also threatened that the Patidars would oppose Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during his visit to Surat on November 3, like it did to BJP president Amit Shah at one of his public gatherings in the city.
The Congress has so far maintained that it will offer a 20-per cent reservation to the economically backward classes (EBC), without disturbing the 49 per cent reservation given to the scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST) and other backward classes (OBC).
The Gujarat Assembly polls are scheduled to be held in two phases – on December 9 and December 14.