No one is leader of Patel agitation, not even Hardik, says SPG member
In a clear sign of rift in the Patels' agitation for reservation, Lalji Patel, who had played a prominent role at the beginning of the stir, on Thursday said that 'no single person was the leader of the movement'.
Ahmedabad: In a clear sign of rift in the Patels' agitation for reservation, Lalji Patel, who had played a prominent role at the beginning of the stir, on Thursday said that "no single person was the leader of the movement".
"No one is the leader of the agitation, this is an agitation of the entire community....not me or even Hardik bhai. This agitation has been led by all soldiers of Patel community," said Lalji, who heads Sardar Patel Group (SPG).
Patel, who had mentored Hardik when latter joined the SPG, was answering the reporters' question whether he saw the 22-year-old as the leader of the agitation.
Further, Lalji said, a new team would be formed to take the agitation forward.
"All the senior members of the Patidar communities have decided to merge all existing committees or associations leading the quota agitation, into a single team of Gujarat. This team will lead this agitation," he said, indicating that Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti would be sidelined.
"This agitation is not for a single leader," he said.
When asked if community members would face any confusion while choosing between him and Hardik, Lalji reiterated that there was no single leader of the movement.
Hardik had been entrusted with looking after social media affairs of the SPG (before he virtually became the face of the agitation), he said.
"Hardik has been skillfully handling social media for the community. He has so far handled it perfectly and I hope he will continue to do that job," said Lalji.
Hardik hogged the national headlines after his aggressive speech at 25 August mega-rally of Patels in Ahmedabad, and the violence which followed across Gujarat. Ten people were killed in the agitation.
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