Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel and Convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch Jignesh Mevani have been provided armed security by the Gujarat government to their dismay.
Police officials state that the security has been provided with the intent to impede any potential threats to the Patidar leader Hardik and the young Dalit leader Mevani.
Hardik Patel has been staging protests and blatantly talking against the BJP over his demand for reservation to Patidars under the OBC category. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has already submitted a report on reservation for the community to party chief Sonia Gandhi. The Congress is expected to declare its decision on the reservation for Patidars by 8 November.
On the other side, Jignesh Mevani, too, has been in discussions with Congress over land rights for the Dalit community. Mevani had earlier denied joining or supporting the Congress, however, he changed the discourse. Mevani was also fretful about BJP lending an ear to the Patidar community regarding reservations and ignoring the Dalits. He also labelled BJP as ‘Janvirodhi’ in one of his previous comments.
Though it shall be a tough decision for the Congress to side with Patidars and grant them reservation as doing this could anger other OBCs.
Hardik and Mevani stated that they had never requested for any police security and don’t feel any threat to their lives. The probable reason for such security would only be to keep a close eye on the movements of the two ahead of the assembly elections in Gujarat, they said.
On Monday, the young Patel leader said on his Twitter account that he had to make space for the police man in his vehicle and also offer him meals. Patel said he is ready for police protection provided the police make arrangements for separate vehicles and meals for the security personnel.
“Why do they have to place a personnel alongside with me in my car and keep a check on whatever I am doing, whom I am calling or talking to? They can keep their security in another vehicle which can go alongside my vehicle,” he tweeted.