New Delhi: Agitated over his expulsion from the RLSP, Akhilesh Katiyar on Friday said the entire Uttar Pradesh unit of the party would resign in protest and join Hardik Patel's movement for reservations for the Patel community in the OBC category.
"To register protest against my expulsion, every member of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the party will resign and join Hardik's movement," Katiyar, the expelled Rastriya Lok Samta Party leader said at a press conference. "As many as 17 members of the RLSP's Uttar Pradesh unit resigned today. We will dissolve RLSP's Uttar Pradesh unit," he added.
Katiyar was sacked from the party late Wednesday night for organising Patel's Delhi meet last week. Before being expelled from the party, he was RLSP's national general secretary. Terming his expulsion a "gross injustice", Katiyar accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of wielding pressure on his party chief Upendra Kushwaha to expel him.
According to Katiyar, RLSP chief Kushwaha, who is a minister in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government, asked him about his involvement in Patel's reservation movement. "I informed him that this was a matter of my community which had nothing to do with my party. But Kushwahaji said I would have to pay the price for it," Katiyar said.
"I was expelled from the party under PM's pressure on the directions of BJP president Amit Shah," he added. "I came to know about my expulsion through a letter posted on RLSP's chief general secretary Shivraj Singh's Facebook page." He said he would support Patel, who has been championing the cause of his community, for bringing it in the other backward classes (OBC) category.
"I along with my supporters will now join Hardik Patel's movement for providing reservation to the Patel community. We will very soon organise massive rallies in various parts of Uttar Pradesh to support Patel's cause," he said. "We will also join Patel in his March which is expected to start from Dandi in Gujarat on September 5," Katiyar added.