Members of Patidar Patel community holding a protest demanding reservation in education and government jobs in Gandhinagar (PTI)
The agitating Patel community today said it will not hold talks with Gujarat government over its demand for inclusion in the OBC quota without a written invitation.
Health minister Nitin Patel had said yesterday that the BJP government in the state was ready for talks.
"If the Gujarat government sends us a written invitation for talks, after consulting our various coordination committees we will negotiate with the government," said Hardik Patel, convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (Patel reservation movement committee), today.
Nitin Patel had said at Rajkot yesterday that government had already invited the community leaders for talks.
Hardik Patel, however, said so far the committee had submitted 34 representations to district collectors and tehsil officers (without any response), and the leaders would not hold talks now unless there was a written invitation.
The community, which is politically dominant, wants reservations under OBC quota, and its leaders have held more than 30 rallies in the last one month to press the demand.
Asked about a reported rift between the Patel leaders, Hardik Patel conceded that there were some contentious issues.
"Some members of the community who had not organised any rally were claiming they had been invited by the government. That is an issue, but we will solve it," he said.
When asked about the present criteria which make the community ineligible for inclusion in OBC category, he said it was something the state government had to think about.
"A mega rally" will be held on August 25 where 40 lakh members of the community will be present, he claimed.