Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has tried to woo Patel community to ensure favourable mandate in the upcoming assembly elections in the state. His roadshow yesterday had passed through Patidar-dominated areas of Saurashtra in Gujarat. Slamming the ruling BJP dispensation, Rahul Gandhi said, “if the Congress comes to power, the government will not fire on them,” according to Indian Express report. He referred to the alleged police firing Patidar youths during their agitation for quota in jobs and educational institutions in 2015, the report says.
“We (Congress) work in an environment of love and fraternity. We take everybody along. It is our promise that we shall take everybody along and take Gujarat forward,” Rahul Gandhi was quoted as saying by IE at Dhrol town of Jamnagar.
On his arrival at Dhrol town enroute to Rajkot, Gandhi even wore the signature ‘Patidar cap’, with the slogan “Jai Sardar-Jai Patidar” emblazoned on it, given to him members of the ‘Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), an organisation of politically influential Patel community led by Hardik Patel. “It was you (the Patel community) who gave the country Sardar Patel. But the BJP government committed atrocities on you. Bullets were also fired on Patels. This is not the style of Congress. We believe in moving ahead by keeping all the communities together,” said Gandhi.
At Falla village in Jamnagar, people greeted him with the slogan ‘Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar’. Many in the crowd wore caps with the slogan, according to PTI report.
Interestingly, Gandhi’s assault on the saffron party came on a day when the state government invited quota stir leaders and representatives of other communities to the state capital to try and reach a compromise formula to mollify them ahead of the Assembly polls due later this year. A large number of PAAS members, along with others, gathered at Dhrol to listen to Gandhi. Gandhi paid brief visits to several villages and towns having concentration of Patels.