New Delhi: In a significant political development and what could prove to be a major boost for Congress’ efforts to build an anti-BJP front in Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi will be spending the day in Surat, while senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal will meet Hardik Patel and discuss the Patidar reservation issue.
Gandhi is scheduled to lead a candlelight vigil in Surat to observe the first anniversary of demonetisation as a 'Black Day'. Surat is the hub of Gujarat’s diamond and textile industry and bore the brunt of the November 8 decision.
However, all eyes are on the crucial meeting between Patidar leader Hardik Patel and Kapil Sibal, which will set the tone for a possible future meeting between Gandhi and Patel.
Lawyer and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal is supposed to address the Patidar reservation issue that Hardik Patel has put as a pre-condition to form any alliance with the Congress in Gujarat.
Congress sources said that Sibal was chosen to initiate the reservation talks because as a lawyer, he can look at the legal possibilities and feasibility of the reservation demand.
A top Congress source close to Rahul Gandhi said, “Rahul and Hardik will meet and it will take place only when the reservation details are finalized.”
Earlier, the Congress Vice-President, during the third leg of his Navsarjan Yatra had also met the other prominent anti-BJP leader, Jignesh Mevani. Dalit leader Mevani said Gandhi had agreed to 90% of his demands for the Dalits community.
Similarly, OBC leader Alpesh Thakur, too, had joined the Congress. In fact, he was the first one of the three key players in Gujarat that sided with Congress in their battle against BJP in the Assembly elections next month.
Rahul Gandhi had said, “Our government will be a government of all people.” The Congress leader was indicating that he knows that any front to take on the powerful BJP in the state can only happen if all anti-BJP forces come together to help each other.