Patels in the US will boycott PM Modi’s America visit

SansadTV Bureau

File photo of PM Modi visiting the US in September 2014

The Patel agitation has gathered more steam. To mount pressure on the government, the Patidar Patel sub-community members living in the US have decided to “boycott” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit in the US later this month. PM Modi is scheduled to visit the West Coast of the US, especially the Silicon Valley, and New York later this month.

The Patels across India have been holding protest rallies to demand a reservation for their community under the OBC category.

More than a 1,000 members of the Patel community held a meeting in Edison in New Jersey to extend their support to protests being organised by their brethren in India, said Sardar Patel Group (SPG) leader Lalji Patel on Tuesday.

“Patels living in US have come forward and extended their support to our cause. Today, more than 1,000 Patels living in Edison held a meeting and extended support to us. They have announced to boycott PM Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit in US,” Lalji Patel said.

SPG has disassociated itself from Patidar Ananmat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) which is led by the 22-year-old Hardik Patel. SPG decided to split ways after the mega rally in Ahmedabad on August 25. They are now running a parallel movement to press for the quota demand.

“The Patel community in US wants to give a strong message to PM who has not taken any decision about (granting) reservation to Patels. Thus, we have decided to stay away from his programme in US,” Lalji Patel explained in Ahmedabad.

Not just that. The Patels will also stay away from any programme conducted by the Gujarat government as part of their ongoing stir.

“Patels will also stay away from any state government programme in Gujarat. Our US-based members also appealed to us to stop paying taxes to mount pressure on government…We will convey this message to our community to implement it in coming days,” said Lalji Patel.

According to Lalji Patel, their community, which has a decent presence in the US and owns a big part of the motel business, has always participated with great enthusiasm during PM Modi’s visits there. But now, their boycott will come as a big blow to PM Modi’s global image.

(With inputs from PTI)