Prakash Ambedkar meets PAAS leader Hardik Patel; calls for debate on relaxing 50% limit on reservation
Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr B R Ambedkar, met Patidar Reservation leader Hardik Patel on Tuesday and said time has come for the Parliament to discuss whether the 50 per cent cap on quota can be relaxed.
Declaring support to Hardik Patel’s agitation, Ambedkar accused the NDA government of fueling caste divide in the country. Talking to journalists after a20-minute meeting with Hardik Patel, he said: “Even the Supreme Court has not defined social backwardness. I personally believe that it’s time Article 14 of the Constitution (Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) is modified by the Parliament of India.”
He added, “Nowhere in the Constitution it is written that reservation cannot go beyond 50 per cent. That cap was put by the Supreme Court through a judgment”
Coming down heavily on the Central government, he said, “In the 90s the caste issue never reared its ugly head as the government provided adequate employment to all. The present government has failed to generate employment.
I feel the reservation issue needs intervention of the Parliament. Patidar community cannot be given reservation under the OBC category but it’s possible based on their socio-economic status.” Congress’ former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat also met Hardik Patel and declared support to his cause. Rawat said, “Hardik is a national youth leader and his fight is not limited to Patidars or farmers but touches everyone who’s oppressed in India.” He accused the government of portraying Hardik as “the biggest enemy of the State”. He urged Hardik to break his fast so that his fight could be taken at national level.
Meanwhile, Congress MLAs including Lalit Vasoya (Dhoraji), Asha Patel (Unjha) and Shailesh Parmar (Dani Limda) met Hardik Patel and urged him to end his fast which entered 18th day on Tuesday. Several Patidar leaders also met the youth leader, including Ramesh Dudhwala, Vice President of Unjha Umiya Dham. Amit Jogi, son of former Chhattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi, also called on Hardik Patel and hailed him as a “national youth icon”.
Source : Ahmadabad Mirror, Sept 12, 2108