Ahmedabad: The Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) which was demanding inclusion of the Patels in the OBC category for reservation rejected the Gujarat government's announcement of 10 per cent reservation for the economically backward among upper castes and termed it as a "lollipop" by the government to misguide Patel community.
However, another quota agitation body Sardar Patel Group (SPG) welcomed the government's move, but said they will assess how it will help Patel community and up to what extent.
According to PAAS spokesperson Brijesh Patel, their original demand was to include Patels in the OBC for reservation or provide a separate quota for the community, just like Haryana did for Jats recently.
"This 10 per cent reservation for EBCs is nothing but a lollipop by government to misguide the Patel community.
Hardik and PAAS never asked for it. We always wanted reservation under OBC quota or like the reservation granted to Jats by the Haryana government," Brijesh Patel said.
According to him, Patel community will stick to their original demand and will not accept the government's current scheme of 10 per cent reservation for EBCs.
"This announcement is a tactic by BJP government to silence the Patel community. But, we will not get misled by this announcement. BJP will have to face consequences for playing such politics. PAAS will launch protests across Gujarat against this announcement," said Patel.
The SPG, meanwhile, welcomed the government's move.
"We welcome this announcement, as SPG was always in favour of EBC quota rather than getting included in the OBC list," SPG spokesperson Purvin Patel said.
"However, we will assess this scheme before coming to any conclusion. We will clear our stand after going through it, as we need to check how it will help Patel community and up to what extent," Purvin Patel added.
The BJP government in Gujarat today announced 10 per cent reservation for the economically backward among upper castes, which include Patidars, with a family income cap of Rs 6 lakh a year to avail the benefit.
The decision, taken in the state party's core group meeting in which BJP national president Amit Shah was also present, comes after the recent reverses in the civic polls left the party jittery in the state where Assembly election are due next year.