Second phase of the Patel agitation seems to have started in Gujarat with angry protesters, mainly women, shouting out BJP leaders and not allowing them to speak in any social or government organised events while clanking steel plates with spoons.
On Friday, Gujarat Minister of State for Home Rajni Patel faced angry women in his home district of Mehsana. Mr. Patel was not allowed to speak in a district panchayat organised event as Patel women holding plates and spoons or rolling pins and clanking them.
It may be noted that Mr. Patel’s house in his hometown also was torched during the agitation after the Patel leader Hardik Patel’s brief detention on August 25, 2015. The detention had backfired as it triggered violence across the State in which 10 persons were killed while several hundred vehicles and public properties were torched or vandalised.
Similarly, another Minister Ramanlal Vora also experienced protests in his contingency in Sabarkantha district, North Gujarat when the Patel community boycotted his event to lay foundation stone for local agriculture produce marketing committee building.
Earlier on Thursday, a prominent BJP leader Purushottam Rupala was also targeted as hundreds of women booed him, forcing him to leave the venue of events in Unjha and Patan towns. Mr. Rupala was to allowed to address event at either place as the policemen escorted him out of the function amidst shouting and clanking by women who demanded reservation for their children.
“The government has to give us reservation benefits otherwise the protest will continue. This has become a mass movement as people are fed up with the politicians who take them for granted,” said Rakesh Patel from Unjha town.
Meanwhile, several villages and Patel dominated societies in various towns have put up banners at the gate asking politicians to not enter if they are against reservation to the Patel community.