Months before the State Assembly polls, the Gujarat government on Thursday once again invited Patidar community leaders for talks to resolve the contentious quota issue. The government’s latest offer comes in the wake of the quota agitation leader Hardik Patel’s yatra in Patidar-dominated areas that saw him drawing massive crowds.Speaking to the media, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said he and other party leaders will meet representatives of the Patidar community and community organisations on September 26 to discuss their demands. However, Mr. Patel said, “I have not received any offer for talks from the government.” According to sources, the government’s latest move is aimed at isolating Hardik Patel and his aides, who have been openly campaigning against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the State.“It seems that the BJP wants to isolate Hardik by inviting community leaders for talks on the quota issue,” said a Patidar leader, requesting anonymity. However, he was not sure if the government’s attempt to isolate Hardik, who is the face the agitation , will succeed.When asked why Hardik Patel was not invited, the Deputy CM, who earlier held a series of rounds with community leaders, said that the two outfits — Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and Sardar Patel Group (SPG) — had approached the religious organisations of the Patidar community to intervene and thus the government has invited the representatives of religious outfits for the talks. Meanwhile, Hardik and his aides have intensified their social media campaign against the BJP and the State. government.
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