Gandhinagar, Sep 26 (IANS) The much-awaited talks over the vexed Patel reservation issue initiated by the Gujarat government with the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti ended in a whimper, with the former glossing over the key quota issue while promising to consider forming a commission for the welfare of non-reserved castes.
“We had a discussion with the government but there was no result. The agitation is for reservation to the Patidars in educational institutions and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category,” firebrand Patidar leader Hardik Patel told IANS hours after the meeting.
“The agitation will continue till our key demand is met. If the government agrees to consider other demands and makes an announcement after two days as it said, we welcome it.
“It should, however, be clear that these demands have spawned from the government’s own doing,” he asserted.
Represented by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, the government assured the Patidar leaders from six organisations that it would consider setting up an autonomous commission or a Special Investigation Team for the welfare of the Patidars.
However, the announcement to this effect would come only after Wednesday’s meeting of the state cabinet.
Similarly, Nitin Patel agreed to consider the demands of the Patidars to withdraw legal cases slapped on the community leaders during the agitation.
About action against police officials for “atrocities committed on the Patidars in August 2015” leading to the death of 14 Patel youngsters, Nitin Patel said the government would consider setting up a commission headed by a retired high court judge, according to an official press communique.
But even this would be formally announced after the cabinet meeting.
Hardik Patel and his team agreed to attend the meeting only after Gujarat BJP President Jitubhai Vaghani was asked to leave the venue.
“Our meeting was with the state government and not a political party,” the Patidar leader said.
As for the compensation to the families of those Patidar youth who were killed in police action during the agitation, this responsibility has been entrusted to “leaders of the Patidar religious organisations while they would also look for jobs for their kin”.
“The meeting was a sham. We were made to hear lecturing by the government instead of speaking about solutions. So some of us got angry over this drama,” a Patidar leader present during the negotiations told IANS, requesting anonymity.
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