New Delhi, Aug 31: Hardik Patel, who is spearheading the Patel quota agitation in Gujarat, is in the national capital to hold talks over his future plan of action.
In an interview to a private news channel Aaj Tak, the 22-year-old leader of the upper caste Patidar community, which wants to muscle its way to the quota list, said the government should allow citizens to posses arms for self-defence.
"I think there is no wrong in possessing arms given the kind of threats women, people from weaker section of society face it will be better if they are allowed to keep arms. I myself will carry AK-47 if the government allows its possession," said Patel.
Backing his ideal of 'violence for violence' Patel said, "Apart from producing great men like Mahatama Gandhi and Sardar Patel, India's soil has also produced men like Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad. Hence, there is no harm keeping arms."
Hardik Patel, who led the stir that plunged Gujarat into violence, was seen carrying guns in public rallies and has openly supported possession of arms.
The firebrand young Patel leader of Gujarat, whose photographs brandishing a gun had been published in some national dailies a few days ago, had led a massive rally of his castemen in Ahmedabad on August 25 to seek quotas for them.
In the interview Hardik also flayed the 'Gujarat-model' projected by Narendra Modi and said, "Rich in Gujarat have become richer while poor have gone poorer. I come from a village and have not seen development there so I don't really know about any model."
The Patel leader further said that he votes on the basis of caste and hence he voted for a Patel candidate in his constituency during Lok Sabha polls.
His detention was followed by widespread violence which claimed 10 lives, including that of a police constable, forcing the rare deployment of the army to bring the situation under control.
"It (agitation) is a marathon and not a 100-metre race. It will go on for 1-2 years. I intend to bring 27 crore people of our community together who are in different states. I want to take our movement all over the nation. Wherever the Patel community needs me, I will go.
"During this time, if we feel there is the need to show the muscle power of the community, we will do. Whenever required, they (these communities) will block the highways," Patel told a news conference at the Delhi Press Club on Sunday.
(With inputs from agencies)