Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections, due on 9 Dec and 14 Dec, Congress is trying hard to get the support of the Patidars by hook or by crook. A few days back, the party had suggested three formulas to the Patidars regarding their demand of reservation to the community for jobs and education.
The Patidars under the leadership of Hardik Patel have been demanding for 20% reservation under the OBC quota, which the BJP has not been able to fulfill from a long time now. Being ignored by the BJP from a long time the Patidars became agitated with the ruling BJP government and started protesting against the party.
Patidars holding over 20% of the total population of Gujarat and being the oldest vote bank of the BJP are taking advantage of the upcoming polls in the state. Hardik Patel had many a time indicated that the Patidars will support the Congress but never officially announced it. He had said that he will definitely work towards defeating BJP in Gujarat and had also announced that he will support the party who agrees to fulfill the demand of the Patidars.
The OBC leader Alpesh Thakor has already pledged his support to the Congress and in order to get the Patidars also on its side, the Congress is leaving no stone unturned, in order to fulfill the demands of Hardik Patel.
Congress adamant to end its political exile of 22 years in Gujarat, ahead of the assembly elections the party has kept its new formula for the consensus of the Patidars. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has proposed yet another formula that will not even be against the constitution and will also be able to meet the demands of the Patidars.
He said that without disturbing the 49% reservation quota allowed by the constitution, the only way to give 20% reservation to the Patidars under the OBC quota is by introducing a new reservation.
He further informed that according to the Article 31 of our Constitution, such provisions have been provided, according to which the state government can make new laws to fulfill the constitutional responsibilities in its state and The court cannot interfere in the changes made by the state government through constitutional proposition.
According to the sources, the Congress party has said that “we have fully clarified that we will not tamper with 49% quota set in SC, S, and OBC category, rather, we can set a new law and set a reservation of 20% for the Patidars. The sources also informed that the reservations will not be based on caste but will be given on the basis of necessity. Under this new law, the Patidars will be able to enjoy all the benefits that under the OBC quota.
About this, Gujarat Congress Party President Bharat Singh Solanki said that Kapil Sibal has proposed several options related to reservation of the Patidars. Under which the beneficiaries and other people of the community can be given the benefit.
Meanwhile, the sources in the Congress party has also said that The Patidar Ananmat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) has expressed satisfaction over the proposal, but will take the decision only after agreeing with Hardik Patel’s consent and taking legal advice regarding the suggestion of creating a new law.
Indian National Congress Gujarat unit chief Ashok Gehlot has also confidently claimed that the Patidars will surely support the Congress and the party will win the polls. “We are completely assured that Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mewani, and their supporters would support Congress Party in the upcoming elections,” he said.
The Congress General Secretary had also said that the Patidars will vote for the Congress as the people of Gujarat wants to end the rule of BJP in the state. He said that “They want an end on misgovernance. The situation is very critical. Farmers are unhappy. Labourers are migrating from the state. Business is disrupted.”
Ashok Gehlot also pointed out that though Hardik Patel has not announced anything officially yet in open, he is confident that the Patidars have made up their mins that they will support the Congress only.
The assembly election in the state will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14 and the results will be announced on 18 dec along with the results of the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections.