Britain’s powerful Patel community to protest against Modi during his visit


Patel community activists have sought Britain’s permission to stage protests against Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits there this month, a Patel leader said on Monday.

They want to hold the demonstration to press their demand for reservations for Patels in jobs and educational institutions in Gujarat.

Said Varun Patel, a Patidar leader in Ahmedabad: “We have written to British Prime Minister David Cameron to allow us to exercise our right to protest in their great democracy since we are not allowed to do so in our very own state by our own government.”

Patel, who is the Ahmedabad convenor of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), was referring to the sedition charges slapped on PAAS chief Hardik Patel and his supporters.

“Hardik and his close associates are being tossed from one set of policemen in one city to another in another city,” he added.

Varun Patel said: “We wish to highlight before the Indian community in Britain the plight of the Patel community which is being targeted for raising its voice in the prime minister’s home state Gujarat.”

He wondered how other political parties and groups are allowed to take out processions and stage protests, “but no Patidar gets permission to hold a public function in this state”.

Modi is scheduled to visit Britain from November 12 to 14 before leaving for Turkey to attend the G-20 summit.

Patel said the agitating Patels had decided to vote against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates, irrespective of their caste, in the ensuing elections to 323 local bodies, including six municipal corporations, on November 22 and 29.

“Kamal ne kachdi nakhishu (We will crush the lotus)”, Varun Patel said, referring to the BJP election symbol.