Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday said it was Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel who needed to clear his stand on the demand for OBC reservation for the community.
Taking a dig at Patel’s ultimatum to the Congress to make its stand clear by November 3 on the issue of reservation for the community, Rupani alleged that though the Congress had never promised reservation to the Patidars under the OBC quota, Patel had still asked the community to support the party in the upcoming state assembly polls.
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The chief minister claimed that the Congress had already made it clear that they would give reservation to the Patidars under the economically backward classes (EBC) quota.
“It is Hardik, not Congress, who needs to clear his stand, because the Congress’s stand is already clear. While Hardik’s agitation is about the OBC quota, the opposition party has already said they cannot give reservation to the Patidars under the OBC quota,” he told mediapersons here, after inaugurating the state BJP’s new media centre.
“Contrary to what Hardik is demanding, the Congress is promising reservation under the EBC category. Even then, Hardik is talking about extending support to the party.
“On the other side, we have already passed a bill to give a 10% EBC quota to the non-reserved communities. Whatever has been given has been given by us, while the Congress has only played politics over the issue,” Rupani said.
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.