Ministers Meet Patidar Elders Sans PAAS, SPG
Our Political Bureau
Gandhinagar: While the ‘Gujarat Bandh’ call given by the Patel Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) following the clash between police and the Patidar agitators on Sunday saw a mixed response, the committee of ministers delegated to handle the Patidar issue met the community elders from Patidar community in Gandhinagar on Monday.
Interestingly, neither the representatives of PAAS or Sardar Patel Group (SPG) participated in the meeting. It was the Jail Bharo programme launched by SPG that had triggered off violence on Sunday.
Speaking to ET, SPG chief Lalji Patel said that unless the state government comes out with some concrete announcement, his outfit will not participate in any discussion. “We have already submitted our demands to the government,” he added. Lalji was wounded in Sunday’s clash. He minced no word in pointing out that the Patidars would now intensify the agitation. “We shall now file FIRs against the policemen who had resorted to violence yesterday,” Patel said.
Similarly, PAAS spokesperson Varun Patel also stated that no representative from PAAS would attend the meeting. “There is no seriousness in these exercises. On one hand the government seeks dialogue and on the other files criminal complaints on the agitators,” he said. It may be mentioned here that Varun Patel along with other PAAS leaders have been booked under various sections of IPC after the Sunday’s clash.
Meanwhile, government spokesperson Nitin Patel, who is also heading the committee of ministers told the media that the committee has seriously heard the community elders and would take their demands back to the chief minister.
“The leaders have sought that those agitators who are still behind bars should get bail and be released,” Patel said. “We shall see how that can be done,” he added.