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'Reverse Dandi Yatra' renamed as 'Ekta Yatra'

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 4:32 IST

Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on 14 September night renamed his controversial 'reverse Dandi Yatra' as `Ekta Yatra' as he met Chief Minister Anandiben Patel during which he demanded suspension of cops who used force during the 25 August rally and release of those held.

After the first face-to-face between Patel and the Chief Minister, the government said the community leaders will have to approach the state OBC Commission over the demand of reservations under the OBC quota.

Government spokesperson Nitin Patel also claimed that Patel leaders agreed to approach the Commission.

The meeting between Patel leaders including Hardik Patel and Lalji Patel with the Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and senior ministers went on for over three hours at the Chief Minister's residence in Gandhinagar.

What all did Hardik Patel say after the meeting?

  • "The meeting cannot be said to be a success or a failure as the state government has sought time from us for our demands regarding action for police atrocities on our community members, and we have told them that our agitation will continue till they take effective steps," Hardik Patel said while emerging from the meeting.
  • "We have decided to rename our `reverse Dandi Yatra' as `Ekta Yatra' and it will start from 19 September. We will also organise public meetings in five big cities of the state," he said.
  • He said he had put forth some demands and the state government has been given 10 days to take decisions on the issues raised by us during the meeting.
  • "Our main demands include suspension of police officers who were involved in atrocities on community members at GMDC ground on 25 August and registration of murder cases against police inspectors and sub-inspectors in whose areas Patel youths were killed following the violence," he said.
  • "We have also demanded that all those arrested for the violence (after 25 August rally and in its aftermath) should be released and no further arrests should take place. We have also asked the state government to offer free treatment to all those who were injured during the violence," Patel said.

What is Gujarat government saying?

  • The Gujarat government said it had told the Patel leaders that they must follow "set procedure" to pursue their demand of reservations.
  • "The meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere. Earlier they said the meeting should be held with their 144 representatives. But we convinced them that a frank discussion cannot take place in the presence of so many people. Then 15 of their members came," State Health Minister and government spokesperson Nitin Patel said.
  • "Regarding the reservation, we told them that they have to approach the state OBC commission as per the set procedure. The commission will carry out survey of community members and then only it can recommend inclusion. They have agreed to approach the commission," Nitin Patel said.
  • "They have also assured us that they will tone down the agitation as the negotiation process has started," Patel said.

(with inputs from PTI)

First published: 15 September 2015, 8:43 IST