Gujarat polls 2017: Congress agrees demands of Patidar community, says Hardik Patel

Thursday, 23 Nov, 2017

While talking to reporters, Hardik said, "Congress has agreed to give Patidars reservations under section 31 and provisions of section 46".

However, reacting to the development, Nitin Patel said, "A fool made a request and another fool accepted it, and they say others are fool (Moorkh nedarkhwast di aurmoorkhnedarkhwastmaani, aurdoosre ko moorkhboltehain)".

Letting go of his earlier demand that Patidars be given OBC status, Hardik said Congress has proposed quota under the "special category". Congress leader Kapil Sibal thanked Hardik for his support but refused to give details of the reservation formula.

Hardik Patel, Patidar leader also asserted that Patidar community wants is the right to study and employment.

The Congress is counting on the Patidar votes to sway the election results of Gujarat polls in their favour and uproot the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been in power since 1995 in the state.

Hardik had kept the Congress on the edge after postponing his media interaction twice in the last few days.

Citing various Supreme Court judgements, the BJP leader said it was not possible to exceed the cap set by the apex court. The BJP veteran leader warned Hardik that a day will come when people of the Patidar community would teach him a lesson for "playing with their sentiments". Hardik's PAAS has split in recent weeks and several top leaders have joined the BJP, accusing Hardik of being a "Congress agent".

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said the Congress and Hardik were deceiving each other and the public.

Speaking on the disputes between PAAS and Congress over ticket allocation, he said, "We did not seek any tickets from Congress".

The PAAS has been agitating against the government for more than two years over the issue of reservation for the Patidar community and has pledged to oppose the ruling BJP in the coming state assembly elections in December. Hardik, however, dodged a query about the late-night protest by his co-convener, Dinesh Bambhania, at the residence of Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki. Among the four new inductions, there were three from the PAAS.