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Hardik Wants Truce; Sets Deadline for Release of Patel Leaders

421466-hardik10.09.15

AHMEDABAD: Jailed Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel has set a 10-day deadline for the Gujarat government to release him and other imprisoned Patel leaders for reaching a compromise formula, failing which it warned to that it would intensify its stir.

In a letter, written from Lajpore jail in Surat which surfaced today, Hardik addressing the Patel community, admitted that he is in talks with BJP-led state government to arrive at a compromise formula.

The letter has surfaced after some prominent Patel community members started the exercise to broker a compromise between the BJP government and Patel community members agitating for quota under the banner of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).

Hardik further stated that the truce, however, will happen only when the government accepts the demands of Patels including the release of their leaders. “It is true that I have talked about compromise with government (from jail). But, I want to assure you that I will not do any compromise at the cost of community’s interests. Our first and foremost condition is that our demands must be met,” said Hardik, convener of PAAS.

“BJP government is given time till January 30. We have set a condition that talks with government will take place only when the government releases me and other jailed Patel youths by January 30 and withdraw all the cases against us,” he claimed in his letter, which was circulated in the media by his lawyer Yashwantsinh Vala.

“Patel community will think about BJP government only when they think about us. Till January 30, we will sit peacefully. After that, Patel community will do its work,” warned Hardik in his letter.

He further clarified his political stand by claiming that he will never contest elections and the fight to get reservation for Patel community is not against any political leader of a particular party.

“I am not having any grudge against any political leader of the BJP government including CM Anandiben Patel. Our fight will continue even if Congress comes to power. If BJP government thinks that our fight is a war, then let it be,” said Hardik, who is behind bars on the charges of sedition and conspiracy to wage war against government. Patel community’s protest for quota had turned violent and 10 people had lost their lives in the August 25 rally last year.

PTI

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