Soon after a court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him, Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday told NDTV that he is ready to surrender, but warned that the agitation he is leading would continue even if he is imprisoned.
“I am ready to surrender if the police want to arrest me,” Patel said. On reports that the police could soon arrest him, he said that it showed how scared Gujarat’s Bharatiya Janata Party government is of his Patidar agitation demanding reservations for the community.
A sessions court in Gujarat’s Mehsana district had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Hardik Patel and some other Patidar leaders on Wednesday.
The warrants were issued in connection with an attack at the office of Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Rishikesh Patel in 2015, during the agitation by the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, headed by Hardik Patel. They had not appeared in court hearings multiple times, after which the court issued the warrant.
Patel faces several cases for violence during the agitation to ask for reservations for the community in government jobs and educational institutions. On Saturday, the Congress had invited him to join hands against the BJP in the upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat. The dates for the polls – to be held on December 9 and 14 – were announced on Wednesday.