Ahmedabad: Jailed quota agitation leader Hardik Patel today said the decision to accept or reject Gujarat government’s move of giving 10 per cent EBC reservation to upper castes should be taken by the Patel community and not him.
Hardik, lodged in Lajpore jail in Surat, wrote a letter to Nikhil Savani, Convenor of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) of that city.
In the letter, he said Patel community should decide if it wants reservation under Economically Backward Class (EBC) quota or under the Other Backward Class (OBC) quota.
“We will not make any compromise at the cost of our community. It will be the Patel community, not me, who will decide if we want EBC or OBC. We also need to understand what are the provisions of reservation under EBC quota (given by state government)” Hardik said in the letter.
“If our people firmly say that OBC is better than EBC, then we will definitely fight to get reservation under OBC quota. If they feel that EBC is good, then we will accept EBC quota,” he said.
Gujarat government issued an ordinance yesterday providing 10 per cent reservation for the the economically backward among upper castes.
The ordinance grants 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker people from unreserved category whose annual family income does not exceed Rs 6 lakh.
Through the letter, Hardik also appealed the community as well as agitators associated with PAAS to remain alert, as the 22-year-old feels that some political leaders as well as people from his own community are trying to create rift in the community.
“I don’t mind if I have to spend my entire life in jail to fight for the rights of Patel community. I feel that we need to improve our political understanding, as some people are trying to create rift among us. Do not get misled by anyone’s false claims,” said Hardik.
The letter was made public by Savani.