New Delhi: Hours after a CD allegedly showing Patidar leader Hardik Patel's intimate moments with a girl went viral on social media, the 24-year-old leader came out all guns blazing against the BJP, saying the ruling party was targeting the women of the state.
The leader of the 2015 Patel agitation for reservation said that it was a conspiracy by people trying to defame him. "Why is BJP interfering in my personal life," Patel asked, adding that "it amounted to invading somebody's privacy".
Hardik Patel, over the past few weeks, has grown closer to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi as the two leaders set their eyes on BJP's strong Patel vote base.
Patel also alleged that dirty politics was being played and "they will bring more CDs".
"Just few days back, I told the media that such CDs will be circulated. This is just the beginning of dirty politics. I am sure that BJP people would circulate some more CDs because the man who did it recently joined the party in Delhi. But I am not worried at all about such tactics," he told reporters.
"This is a morphed clip and I will give evidence in the coming days to prove my innocence. The BJP wants to retain power by defaming me," he said.
CNN-News18 couldn't independently verify the veracity of the aforementioned video.
Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya reacted sharply to Patel's accusation.
"It is a shameful incident in public life. If the video clip is fake, Hardik Patel should approach police and file a complaint," Mandaviya said. He said the BJP has nothing to do with the clip.
Earlier in the day, as the CD controversy came to the fore, Hardik took to Twitter, saying that dirty politics had begun, but it didn't bother him. "I don't mind if you disrespect me, but this amounts to tarnishing the image of women of Gujarat".
The Gujarat unit of the Congress backed the quota leader, saying the video appears to have been tampered with.
"As the BJP is now staring at defeat, it has resorted to such dirty and shameless tricks. This video clip appears to have been tampered with. The people of Gujarat will avenge it," AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said.