Gujarat Assembly Election 2017: Rifts between Congress and Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) are wide open ahead of Gujarat Assembly elections 2017. PAAS leader Dinesh Patel has said that the outfit will oppose Congress if its concerns are not addressed. This comes even as PAAS workers have clashed with Congress supporters in Surat. It has been learnt that the clash took place over ticket distribution, according to reports. The ongoing development is a big jolt to Congress vice President Rahul Gandhi who is seeking to dethrone BJP from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state. Taking pot shots at PAAS leaders after the supporters of the outfit clashed with Congress activists, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani said that PAAS leaders were working as agents of Congress, and now they have been totally exposed. Notably, Hardik Patel had earlier set a condition that he would support the Congress in the Assembly polls, due next month, only if the party committed itself to allotting reservation in education and government jobs to his community.
This comes after the Congress on Sunday had released its first list of 77 candidates for phase one of the Assembly poll with senior leaders from the state, Arjun Modhwadia and Shaktisinh Gohil, getting tickets for the crucial election. Meanwhile, Hardik Patel will be addressing a public gathering in Rajkot on Monday. Yesterday, the Gujarat Congress and the (PAAS) had said that they have reached an agreement over the issue of granting reservation to Patels, if the Congress is voted to power in the state Assembly election.
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— ANI (@ANI) November 20, 2017
“Earlier, we had asked the Congress to clarify how they would grant Patidars a constitutionally valid reservation. Today, we held a crucial meeting on that issue and finally reached a consensus on various options offered by the party to us. Official announcement of this agreement will be made by Hardik tomorrow in Rajkot,” said Bambhania, a key aide of Hardik Patel. “I can say that we are in agreement with the Congress about their formula of granting reservation. We have not talked anything about giving tickets to PAAS. Hardik would announce tomorrow whether PAAS would support the Congress during the polls or not,” he told reporters after the meeting.
The meeting with PAAS leaders was attended by Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki and senior Congress leaders Siddharth Patel and Babubhai Mangukia. Solanki claimed the meeting yielded a “positive outcome”.
“The meeting was successful and yielded a positive outcome. We both agreed to implement this agreement in coming days,” he said.
A week ago PAAS leaders and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal held a meeting over the issue, following which, Hardik Patel had said he was satisfied with the three options submitted by the Congress on how the party would grant reservation to Patels if voted to power.
The polling for the two-phase elections in Gujarat will take place on December 9 and 14 and votes will be counted on December 18.