In a major blow to Hardik Patel, former Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Chirag Patel today joined the BJP.
In a major blow to Hardik Patel, former Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Chirag Patel today joined the BJP. Chirag has built a reputation as one of the strongest leaders from the time of his association with the Patidar agitation. He was believed to be a close aide of Hardik Patel. Chirag joined the saffron party in presence of Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel. Earlier, the Gujarat government had filed a sedition case against him. In October this year, Varun Patel and Reshma Patel had also quit PAAS and joined the BJP.
After his induction in the BJP, Chirag accused Hardik of fulfilling his personal ambitions through the agitation. “The agitation, which was started with the goal of getting reservation for the Patel community, has now become a tool to satisfy the personal ambitions of one person. It has become a tool to acquire wealth and power. I strongly believe that the agitation is going in a wrong direction,” Chirag said. Earlier, Chiarag was also expelled from PAAS. He also slammed Hardik over his purported sex tape. “After the sex CDs of Hardik have emerged, it is not possible for me to remain silent. This entire episode is a blot on the community,” he said.
He said that the Congress has diverted the agitation in their favour by using Hardik, who only wants to satisfy his personal ambitions. Hardik is now exposed before the people of Gujarat,” Chirag alleged. Dy CM Nitin Patel said the government had done everything possible to help the community. He also claimed that over 500 cases lodged against the agitators had been withdrawn.
With Gujarat assembly elections 2017 around the corner, the political activity in the state is at its peak. Patidar leaders Reshma Patel and Varun Patel had earlier met Amit Shah at BJP office in Ahmedabad. And, both of them have joined BJP.
Bharat Solanki, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president had said, “If Hardik Patel wants to contest the election, then Congress invites him to do so.” Hardik Patel, who led an agitation for the inclusion of the Patidar caste in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category, on the other hand, showed his disinterest in contesting elections.
Earlier, Alpesh Thakore, a leader of OBC Ekta Manch, announced that he will join Congress on October 23. Alpesh made this announcement after meeting Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Delhi.