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'Don’t Vote for BJP': Hardik Patel's War Cry after Quota Deal with Congress

“The Congress has agreed to all our conditions. It has agreed to give Patidars reservation that is on a par with OBCs,” said Hardik Patel.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:November 22, 2017, 2:44 PM IST
'Don’t Vote for BJP': Hardik Patel's War Cry after Quota Deal with Congress
Hardik Patel addressing a press Conference in Ahmedabad ( TV Grab)
Ahmedabad: Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel has made his political preference clear for the upcoming state Assembly polls in Gujarat.

“I will not join any political party, but I will ask my supporters don’t vote for the BJP,” said the PAAS leader after keeping everyone in suspense for the last 48 hours.

In bipolar polity, which will see a direct contest between the ruling BJP and Congress, Hardik’s call is as good as lending support to the Congress. “Congress has agreed to give Patidars reservation that would be parallel to OBCs. Article 46 will be used by Congress to bring in a Bill for non-reserved classes,” said Patel in a press briefing in Ahmedabad on Wednesday morning.

The Congress proposal, Patel underscored, will not impinge on the current 49% reservations for the SC, ST and OBC groups in Gujarat. “Congress will put it in its party manifesto for the Gujarat elections,” he added.

The PAAS leader spearheading the Patidar agitation had cancelled his press conference twice in the last two days amid reports of differences with the Congress over ticket distribution. Congress had to tweak its first list to accommodate four PAAS leaders on Monday night amidst reports of Patel seeking a larger pie for his supporters in lieu of extending support.

With BJP aggressively trying to woo his supporters, Patel has had tough time keeping his flock together. In the 30-minute press conference, PAAS leader trained his guns on the BJP, accusing the ruling party of lure his supporters through monetary enticements.

Gujarat govts - timeline

“Even I was offered money when I was behind bars. All those who are accusing me of working for the Congress should know that had I been a saleable commodity, I would have done that long ago,” said Patel, making it clear that he will aim to defeat the BJP in the upcoming elections.​

“As far as ticket distribution is concerned, young people should get more representation. Congress has given tickets to Patidar youth and that will increase their voice in the Assembly,” Patel added.

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| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
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