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Get rid of quota or make all its slave, says leader of Patel group

“Either free the country from reservation or make everybody the slave of reservation,” said Hardik Patel, 22, dressed in a half-sleeved white shirt and army combat trousers, at his office in Bopal on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

The agitation he launched demanding reservation for the Patels would continue till the government decided either way, he said in an interview to The Hindu on Thursday. “Our people don’t get jobs despite scoring 80-90 per cent marks, so they are forced to do their own business because of this reservation system,” he said. Jobs were cornered by those from the reserved categories. “The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have reservation, yet they get jobs in the general quota, too,” he said.

Mr. Patel said he will work to change the politics and system in the country. “I am here not to do politics but to change it with the remote control. I will hold the remote control,” he said, citing Sardar Patel and Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray as his role models.

Asked what would be his next course of action after the two-month agitation ended in violence that claimed nine lives, Mr. Patel said: “Seven million members of the Patel community who supported me would withdraw money from banks, stop supply of milk and vegetables.”

“The SCs and STs have reservation, yet they get jobs in the general quota, too.”

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