Hardik Patel: Congress has accepted demand of giving reservation to community
The leader says the Congress has accepted the demand of giving reservation to his community
Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel yesterday declared his support to the Congress for the Gujarat Assembly elections, saying the opposition party has accepted the demand of giving reservation to his community in a "special category". The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader said that reservation formula given by the Congress for his community will be over and above the 50 per cent quota for the SC, ST and OBCs. On the 50 per cent reservation cap set by the Supreme Court, he said that it is just a "suggestion".
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel (C) speaks during a press conference in Ahmedabad yesterday. Pic/AFP
Hardik said if the Congress comes to power, it will conduct a proper survey for providing reservation. The party will bring a Bill in the state Assembly and give reservation, he said."My fight in Gujarat is against the BJP and that is why we will directly or indirectly support Congress (in the elections) as it has accepted our demand for reservation," he added."Congress has promised to include our demand in its manifesto," he said. "The percentage of reservation under a special category to be given to us will be decided after the survey conducted by the commission to be formed by the government."
"As per the formula, without touching the 49 per cent quota (now provided in the state) to the Schedule Tribes (ST), Schedule Castes (SC) and Other Backward Class (OBC), the Congress has decided to provide quota to the communities, who have not got the benefit of reservation so far under Article 31 (C) and Article 46 of the Constitution," he told reporters here. When pointed out that the Supreme Court had "restrained" the Rajasthan government from taking action on conferring the benefit of reservation resulting in crossing the total reservation beyond 50 per cent, Hardik said, "This (50 per cent cap) is just a suggestion of the Supreme Court."
"In our Constitution, there is no mention of 50 per cent cap on reservation. I am of the firm opinion that reservation can be given over 50 per cent," he said. Hardik also said that there were no differences with the Congress over seat-sharing. "We had not demanded any seats, but we had asked the Congress to put up candidates of our community, who have a strong character," he said. Hardik also accused the BJP of trying to buy PAAS members by offering R50 lakh.
As many as 1,703 candidates have filed nominations for the 89 constituencies to be covered in the first phase of Assembly polls in Gujarat on December 9.
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