The efforts of congress in trying negotiate with the Patidar of Gujarat hit a deadlock after both the sides failed to reach an agreement on providing quotas to the community in government jobs and reservation.
With little time left for Gujarat to for polls on December 9th, another round of discussion between the two sides has been stated for 7th November. Assurance about quotas for the Patels, is a precondition that is set by the community for extending support to the party in the Assembly polls.
“Since the issue of reservation is a technical one the congress will consider experts before deciding.”, said one of the member of PAAS.
Hardik Patel, who skipped the meeting, said,”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,”.
Hardik Patel had last Saturday threatened to disrupt Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s proposed rally in Surat if the main opposition party in Gujarat did not make clear how it will provide quotas to the Patidar community. However, today he said he will not oppose Rahul Gandhi’s rally.
Congress agreed to the demand for formation of special investigation team (SIT), if voted to power, to investigate alleged atrocities against the members of the community during the PAAS rally in Ahmedabad on 25-26 August, 2015, senior Congress leader Siddharth Patel said. He said legal action will be taken against those held guilty.
It also promised withdrawal of all police cases against PAAS members, including on the serious charge of sedition. If voted to power, the Congress government will make an ex-gratia payment of Rs 35 lakh to the kin of those killed during the quota agitation and a government job to one member of their families, Patel said.
The ruling BJP, meanwhile, accused Patel and the Congress of misleading the Patidar community with the latter’s claim that the opposition party has accepted all the demands of the community.
“The main demand of the PAAS and Hardik Patel was reservation under OBC quota. The Congress and PAAS should clarify if the Congress will give reservations under quota to the community,” deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said, reacting to today’s meeting.