For the BJP in Gujarat, message is loud and clear as the angry Patel women brandishing rolling pins and clanking plates with spoons are out in the streets across the state to spoil the ruling party’s functions forcing the party functionaries and senior ministers to go for cover.
On Wednesday, hundreds of Patel women forced the BJP to cancel its events at four different towns in Saurashtra, as the party leaders and ministers did it turn up at the venues after seeing fury of the women in Rajkot, Amreli and Sabarkantha districts.
“It is becoming serious now. The government seems to have no clue to deal with the volatile situation. The women have taken over the agitation,” said a top BJP politician.
At Halvad in Surendranagar district, more than 100 women gatecrashed the government circuit house where the BJP leaders had come to meet the local leaders to start the process of candidate selections for the forthcoming local bodies’ elections. The women armed with steel plates, rolling pins and spoons forced the party observers to leave the venue immediately.
The ruling party had to cancel similar exercise of observers’ meeting with local leaders to screen potential candidates for the district and block panchayat polls at half a dozen places sensing serious protests by women of the Patel community.
The local panchayat elections involving over two dozen district and more than 100 blocks are scheduled to be held in Gunarat in October, November.
Similarly in Vadodara, meeting of senior minister Vijay Rupani and others was stalled the the women, who created ruckus and staged acrimonious scenes at the venue of meeting, giving anxious time to the politicians and the police.
“We have asked our women to be at the forefront of the agitation because the police attacked us during the last month rally in which eight Patel community members were killed in police firing,” said Varun Patel, member of the Sardar Patel Group (SPG), one of the two outfits that launched the agitation seeking reservation benefits for the Patel community in Gujarat.
A prominent Patel leader of the BJP Purushottam Rupala, who was hounded out last week from two events in north Gujarat, had skipped a party function in Rajkot on Wednesday evening as more than 200 women had gathered at the venue shouting slogans while holding waving thalis and rolling pins.