Washington : An influential section of the Patel community on Sunday said they are opposed to a planned rally against Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits the US this week while another group in the Silicon Valley said they would hold protests against him over the handling of the recent reservation agitation in Gujarat.

In a media statement, the group of Patels, said they believe that the agitation in India is politically motivated and these protests do not represent the voice of the entire Patidar (Patel) community.

“We Patels in the US are not taking any sides. Our intention is to make everybody aware that not every Patidar is against Prime Minister Modi. We do not support people who are tarnishing the reputation of our community and great country of India,” said Danny Patel, CEO of PeachState Hospitality, reports PTI.

There are about 150,000 Patels living in the US and those supporting the rally against Modi at the UN are a minuscule number who are misrepresenting the community, said the statement. “Modi is coming here to further a bigger vision that he holds for India and instead of supporting his vision some people are trying to thwart his vision for petty political gains which the majority of us feel is not right,” said Ravi Patel of Sree Hotels.

“Patidars in the US are an industrious and peace loving community that has the progress of India close to their hearts,” the statement added.

“As members of the overseas Patidar community, we condemn it. This is an exercise in political mudslinging and we do not want to be a part of it,” said Baldev Thakor, president of Maya Hotels and a Patel community member. “We wholeheartedly support Modi in his initiatives to take the country to greater heights,” he added.

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