Gandhinagar, Jan 31: Quota spearhead Hardik Patel sought intervention of Gujarat Governor O P Kohli to stop the state government from "suppressing" the voice of common people as well as Patidar leaders.
Patel, accompanied by members of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti called on the governor at Raj Bhavan and handed him a memorandum claiming that members of the PAAS are being "harassed" by the BJP government by "falsely implicating them in various cases".
Patel said the "harassment" and foisting of false cases is a "well planned strategy" to put the agitators behind bars.
Citing some instances wherein the PAAS was "denied permission to hold rallies ahead of the recently-held assembly elections", Patel alleged the crackdown on the Patel body is aimed at "silencing agitators ahead of the Lok Sabha polls". He hoped that the governor would take up the matter with the BJP dispensation.
"We informed the governor how PAAS members are being subjected to atrocities by this government. We were also harassed during the polls. I am hopeful that the governor will understand this issue and instruct the government accordingly," he told reporters outside Raj Bhavan after the meeting.
In the memorandum, Patel alleged the state government is constantly trying to stop PAAS from raising issues concerning people, which according to him is the violation of Constitutional rights conferred to every citizen.
"During the assembly polls, we were denied permission to hold rallies. Poll authorities were working at the behest of the ruling party (BJP). To stop us from raising issues through rallies, authorities used to impose section 144, so that no one can assemble in the rally," the memorandum said. After the election, this newly-formed government started committing atrocities on PAAS members by framing them in false cases, it said.
"This is a conspiracy to put all of us behind bars, so that the ruling party gets a free hand during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls," it stated. Urging the governor to instruct the BJP government to "stop atrocities on people", Patel alleged that Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has forgotten his Constitutional oath.
"It was you (the governor) who administered the oath to the government that it will not harbour any prejudice against anyone. However, it seems that the chief miniser has forgotten that oath. We urge you to instruct the government that no one should be harassed and no attempts be made to suppress our voice," Patel said. Patel has been leading a stir seeking OBC quota for Patidars in government jobs and education.