Launching a fresh round of agitation against the BJP government in Gujarat, Hardik Patel staged a day-long sit-in for Patidar quota in Morbi district on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old leader and his associates in the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) sat on 'dharna' from 11 AM to 5 PM at Bagathala village, demanding loan waiver for farmers and reservation for the Patidar community.
He also demanded immediate release of PAAS member Alpesh Kathiria, who was arrested last month in a sedition case registered by police against Hardik Patel and others.
Hardik Patel had sat on a hunger strike for demands of loan waiver and Patidar quota from August 25 to September 12 this year.
With Tuesday's protest, organised on the 149th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, he seemed to have started another round of agitation.
He said he would stage sit-ins across Gujarat and hold a huge gathering of farmers in Morbi district in the next two to three months.
Farmers should cease to be slaves of the government and support his movement, he said.
"Time has come for farmers to come together. I need your support, because my fight is for you," Hardik said, claiming that five farmers committed suicide in Gujarat in the last seven days alone.
Justifying the demand of reservation, he claimed that bright students from the Patidar community are deprived of government jobs or admission to medical colleges.
Farmers should seek government jobs for their children because farming is no longer profitable, he said.
"If you have two children, then aim to make one of them a government officer. There is no point in making both of them continue in farming," the Patidar leader said.
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