NEW DELHI -- Hardik Patel, the face of the Patel quota stir in Gujarat, today announced plans for a nation-wide agitation seeking reservation for nearly "27 crore people" of various communities including Gujjars and Kurmis. He was in Delhi on a "non political" visit and was only interested in the cause of representation.
The 22-year-old leader said the reservation agitation "was a marathon and not a 100-metre race" and he intends to hold mega-rallies in different parts of the country to widen the stir.
Hardik met Jats and Gurjars and reiterated the demand for reservation for Patidars saying the “system today is hollow”. “On August 25, I had said that our numbers in the country amount to 27 crore, who are dispersed across states. The entire 27 crore Patel community has to be brought together, and this movement will be taken across the country, wherever there are Patels,” Hardik said at a press conference at the Press Club of India.
Hardik has galvanised the dominant Patel community in Gujarat on the reservation demand.
The B.Com. graduate had brought Ahmedabad to a standstill on August 25 with a massive show of support that took a violent turn following his brief detention by police. In subsequent violence, 10 persons were killed and many injured, prompting authorities to clamp curfew in parts of the city.
In his first reaction on the recent Gujarat violence over the quota issue, Modi said the incidents, which claimed at least 10 lives, had upset the entire nation.
"The recent incidents of violence in Gujarat has upset the entire nation. Whatever happens to the land of Gandhi and Sardar Patel, the nation is shocked and pained first," he said in his radio programme, Mann ki Baat.