AHMEDABAD: An arch rival of Patel quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, today urged OBC, SC and ST communities to unite ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections and asserted that the next Gujarat Chief Minister would be decided by them.
Thakor was addressing ‘Vyasan-Mukti Mahakumbh’, a de-addiction conclave organised by Kshatriya Thakor Sena, a non-political body led by him.
The event is being seen as a show of strength of OBC, SC and ST communities vis-a-vis the Patel community’s ongoing stir seeking reservation under OBC quota.
“As leaders of OBC, SC and ST communities are here, I want to tell you that these communities will decide the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2017. It will be us, who will decide what will happen in 2017,” Thakor said at the programme held at GMDC ground here.
Hardik Patel had earlier claimed that Patel community holds the key to make or break any government here and warned the state to face the wrath of Patel voters in 2017 if their demand for reservation was not met.
However, Thakor, who had formed OBC-SC-ST (OSS) Ekta Manch after the Patel quota agitation gained momentum in August last year, had opposed Patels’ demand.
The conclave was claimed to be attended by around two lakh people, mostly from Thakor community of north Gujarat region.
OBC, SC and ST community leaders had also been invited to share the stage at GMDC ground.
Incidentally, the programme was organised at the same venue, where Hardik had held a massive gathering of Patel community on August 25.
Although during his address, Thakor repeatedly claimed that it was a “non-political” event aimed only at eradicating social evils and addiction, he asked them to choose the CM wisely.
“I want to assure you that I do not have any political ambitions and I will not fight election. Me and my cause is totally non-political. However, we have to also ensure that we don’t choose a ruler (CM), who can’t even understand our problems. Thus, start preparing for 2017 from today,” he said to the cheering crowd.