Nikhil Sawani, co-convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) in Surat, resigned from the outfit, terming quota agitation leader Hardik Patel “autocratic”. Nikhil reportedly has a good rapport with businessmen Pankaj Sidhpara and Mukesh Patel, who are core members of Patidar Abhivadan Samiti.
Talking to The Indian Express, Nikhil Sawani said, “The Samiti was formed keeping in mind the betterment of Patidar community. Earlier, all decisions related to the movement was taken by taking opinions of all PAAS co-convenors. But, in some cases, we have found that Hardik Patel is taking the decision on his own without consulting PAAS members. This is totally wrong. Some of his decisions were not right and for that PAAS has to face great problems. I have given my resignation over my internal dispute with Hardik.”
A PAAS leader, requesting anonymity, said that Hardik was upset with Nikhil over his ties with Sidhpara and it could be the reason for the Surat Patidar leader to resign from the outfit.
A purported letter by Nikhil addressed to Hardik, dated August 31, spoke about the quota agitation having “changed course”. Two key PAAS members, Chirag Patel and Ketan Patel, had earlier accused Hardik of embezzling funds collected to provide financial help to those killed during the quota stir.
Surat PAAS co-convener Dharmik Malaviya said, “The resignation of Nikhil Sawani has shocked us. There were differences between Hardik Patel and Nikhil… we were likely to sort out the issue at a meeting today, but Nikhil resigned before the meeting. Nikhil has played an important role in the success of the Patidar movement and we will try to bring him back and we are sure that he will return.”