May 25, 2018

Guj Polls: Hardik Patel's key aides join BJP

23 October 2017, 02:25 | Rufus Hill

Patidar community leader Hardik Patel. Courtesy ANI news

Patidar community leader Hardik Patel. Courtesy ANI news

"We stand by our proposal of keeping 49 per cent reservations for OBC, SC/ST intact and passing a resolution in the Assembly once in power to provide for 20 per cent reservations to other communities", he had said.

With the Congress hoping for OBC consolidation in its favour in Gujarat and Karnataka, the BJP is likely to play up the opposition party's decision to stall the Modi government's OBC commission bill in Parliament to counter it in the two poll-bound states.

Solanki said Thakor met Gandhi with his "team" and made a decision to join the Congress in the interest of Gujarat.

Thakor, accompanied by Congress general secretary in-charge of Gujarat Ashok Gehlot and state party chief Bharatsinh Solanki, met Gandhi at his residence in New Delhi this evening.

"It is time to throw out the BJP in Gujarat".

The last Congress government in Gujarat was led by Chhabildas Mehta from February 17, 1994 to March 13, 1995.

The Congress had given both Hardik Patel and Mr Mevani an open invitation to join the party.

The Congress has also announced truck with the lone JD (U) legislator, Chhotubhai Vasava of the Sharad Yadav camp, who had helped the Congress in the Rajya Sabha polls by voting for Ahmed Patel. Mr Vasava had supported Congress in the Rajya Sabha elections held in August.

"Though the BJP is trying its best to win the polls, it will not succeed in stopping the Congress' victory march to Gandhinagar". I can not contest elections myself because of constitutional provisions, nor do I want.

"Our agitation was about getting reservation under the OBC quota, not about uprooting the BJP and bringing the Congress to power", Reshma Patel told reporters.

Congress managers claimed Hardik had agreed to lend tactical support to them without entering into a formal pact.

Reacting to the Congress invite, Hardik Patel, who has been publicly saying that he was out to defeat the "dictatorial and inhuman" BJP, said, "I am not here to contest elections and my age does not permit it, but other PAAS (Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti) members are free to do so". The Patidar community leader said that it was time for a BJP-mukt Gujarat.

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