Gujarat 2017

Congress, Hardik reach deal on quota

File photo of Patidar leader Hardik Patel.  

The Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday announced that his outfit Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) has accepted the quota formula given by the Congress.

The party will make the quota promise to Patidars in its manifesto for the Gujarat polls.

The 24-year-old leader, who has been spearheading the agitation, did not categorically pledge support to the Congress but said the PAAS and the Patidar community would do everything to defeat the BJP at the hustings. To achieve its reservation goal, the BJP must be ousted first, he said.

Addressing journalists in Ahmedabad, Mr. Hardik stressed that he would not join any political party for the next two years. His agitation is social and not political but at the same time, he emphasised that the BJP needed to be defeated in Gujarat first. “I will not join politics and we never sought any ticket for any of our PAAS members. Lalit Vasoya has got Congress ticket because he was already a Congress leader in Dhoraji,” he said, calling the media stories that PAAS demanded Congress ticket as “baseless and BJP propaganda.”

While accepting the Congress formula worked out by the legal expert and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, Mr. Hardik slammed the BJP, accusing it of using money power to break the agitation and also buy some people involved in it. “BJP has earmarked ₹200 crore to buy some volunteers, and sponsor some independent candidates to divide Patidar votes,” he alleged.

He claimed that the BJP had offered him a deal of ₹1,200 crore through a senior bureaucrat but he did not budge from his demand for quota.

In Delhi Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the Congress and Mr. Hardik as “mutual deception club” and said quota beyond 50% was not legally tenable.


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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 5:30:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/gujarat-2017/hardik-patel-accepts-congress-quota-formula-for-patidars/article20632150.ece

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