Ahmedabad: Patidar leader Hardik Patel began an indefinite fast at his sprawling farmhouse in Ahmedabad on Saturday to press for quota for the community after the Gujarat government refused permission for various protest venues he had sought.
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader began the fast at 3 pm in the presence of his supporters and several Congress MLAs after a pooja at his farmhouse, which has been turned into a veritable fortress with the deployment of a huge posse of police personnel, who are frisking everyone entering the premises.
Congress MLAs Lalit Vasoya from Dhoraji constituency, Asha Patel from Unjha, Brijesh Merja from Morbi, Lalit Kagathra from Tankara and Kirit Patel from Patan were present at Hardik Patel’s farmhouse.
Vasoya, a Patidar, said he, along with other Congress MLAs, would sit on a symbolic fast from tomorrow.
While Hardik Patel alleged that the BJP government in the state had denied permission as it was trying to thwart his agitation, the police said it was done keeping in mind the law-and-order situation since such protests had led to violence and arson in the past.
“Today is the third anniversary of the Patidar agitation. Two months ago, we had sought permission to stage protest in the form of an indefinite fast. But we were not granted permission and therefore, we decided to hold it at my residence,” Hardik Patel told reporters.