Ahmedabad: As a precursor to a possible joint show of strength by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel in Surat later this week, representatives of PAAS will meet with Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee office bearers on Monday afternoon to discuss the Patidar reservation issue.
Just a day before had Hardik Patel, the feisty 24-year-old Patidar leader, warned the Congress to come clear with its stand on reservation issue, if the party wants the Patels to support them in the upcoming Assembly election.
GPCC President Bharatsinh Solanki and other leaders are expected to meet the PAAS representatives and let them know of the party's plans on the Patidar reservation issue.
Although Hardik Patel is rumoured to have met Congress leaders at an Ahmedabad hotel last week, PAAS has said it in as many words that they will wait for the Congress to make an announcement regarding its reservation demand, before officially announcing its support for the Congress.
Senior Congress leader Arjun Modhvadia meanwhile said, “Congress’ stand was made clear much earlier and it said that there would be a 20 percent reservation for the economically backward communities.”
Modhvadia added, “We are meeting with PAAS office bearers and will discuss our proposal. Hardik Patel, who is in Bhavnagar said on Monday that they would wait for Congress’ offer for the Patidar community and then take a call on supporting the Congress.”
In Gandhinagar, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that it is for the Congress to clarify whether it proposes to grant reservation to the Patidars under the OBC quota or the EBC category.
"The Congress should clarify whether it will include the Patidar community within the OBC category or outside," Rupani said in Gandhingar.