Gujarat elections: Congress gives Hardik Patel three options

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“They have given us three options that we would now discuss with Hardik and other community leaders before meeting Congress again in a couple of days”, Bambhania said. “The options that have been given are over and above it”, he said, adding that the PAAS has already rejected the Congress’s offer of providing reservation under EBC category as it is not constitutionally valid.

Congress today gave three options to Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) whose convener Hardik Patel has set a commitment to the OBC quota as a pre-condition to support the party in the assembly polls slated for next month. “The options are over and above the existing 49% quota”. The almost 3-hour meeting culminated at 2:00 am.Besides Sibal, Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki, and senior leaders Arjun Modhwadia, Shaktisinh Gohil, and Siddharth Patel represented the Congress in the meeting.Dinesh Bambhania, convener of PAAS, said that the party has given them three options for providing reservation to the community in government jobs and higher education.Neither Bambhania nor the Congress leaders divulged the three options.Bambhania said they will first discuss the proposals with quota stir leader Hardik Patel and hold wider consultations with community leaders and legal experts before taking a call on them , As Reported By DNAIndia.

Kapil Sibal of the Congress expressed his satisfaction with the outcome, saying “after sharing our views with the PAAS leaders, we feel there is hope for a breakthrough to formally forge an alliance”. “Then we will have a meeting with Congress”, Bambhania said. The Congress leader flew into Ahmedabad late on Tuesday night with a draft proposal on how the Congress will ensure benefits of affirmative action for the Patels if it comes to power in Gujarat.

Himmatsinh Gujjar, who was part of the Gujjar quota stir in Rajasthan and extended his community’s support to PAAS for their fight for reservation, was also part of the PAAS team at the meeting. “We did not offer any formula”, Sibal told reporters. “We only discussed and explained the legal and constitutional aspect of the issue. More than 50 per cent quota is still in practice in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh”, claimed Gujjar.

Congress and PAAS leaders at the meeting in Ahmedabad in late October.

Quoting Bhambhaniya, the PTI reported that the Congress leaders put three options before the PAAS leaders on how to provide reservation to the community.

The parties have again made a decision to meet in a few days’ time to take the discussion to a conclusive end. He further added that he expects the matter to come to conclusion in 2-3 days.

The PAAS members met Sibal to discuss modalities of providing reservation to Patidars if voted to power in the upcoming Assembly polls in Gujarat.

The Patels who have traditionally been BJP supporters, have been agitating since 2015, under the leadership of 24-year-old Hardik Patel, seeking quotas in government jobs and educational institutions.

The polling for the two-phase Gujarat elections will take place on December 9 and 14 and votes will be counted on December 18.

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