Patidar leader Hardik Patel on a 3-day Odisha visit. Here’s why

Bhubaneswar: Gujarat’s Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel reached here today on a three-day visit to the State to attend an event in Mayurbhanj district tomorrow.

Sources said the Patidar Anamant Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader will take part in a rally organised by the Kudumi (or Kurmi) community in Baripada tomorrow demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to them.

The young leader is likely to meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the issue on Monday.

“I would meet CM Naveen Patnaik and raise the issue with him and will urge him to take up the matter with Centre to give justice to the community,” Patel said.

The firebrand leader took to Twitter to inform his followers about his programme in the State.

Orissa Kudumi Mohanta Mahasabha (OKMM), an outfit representing the community of Kudumi Mohantas, will hold a rally from Betonati to Baripada in the district tomorrow.

“We will stage the rally tomorrow from Betonati and reach at Chhau Padia at Baripada to raise our long standing demand and Hardik’s presence will inspire us. Besides, we will meet the CM to take up the matter with him,” said Biswaranjan Mahanata, State President of the outfit.

While the Constitution presently categorises the community as a Backward Class, the Kudumis have, for many decades, claimed tribal status. Census records show that they were categorised in 1931 as a Primitive Tribe, and in 1941 as Tribal Hindus in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district and as Kshatriyas in other areas. However, the Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas formed in 1946, excluded the Kudumis while submitting its report, which resulted in their non-inclusion in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.

The estimated population of the community in the State is above 25 lakh which is concentrated in the districts of Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Sambalpur and Jajpur districts.


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