Not openly extending support to Congress in Gujarat elections: Hardik Patel

Patidar leader Hardik Patel has confirmed that the Congress party had accepted 'our issues.' Speaking to media amidst speculations that he had fallen out with the Congress party, the young Patel leader said that the two sides agreed to give Patidars reservations. Further clearing the air on joining political party, Patel asserted that he is not going to join any party for two and a half years. The BJP veteran leader warned Hardik that a day will come when people of the Patidar community would teach him a lesson for "playing with their sentiments".

Though the deal was brokered by Congress legal eagle Kapil Sibal, he left it to Hardik to make the announcement to the media. "We had not demanded any seats, but we had asked the Congress to put up candidates of our community who have a strong character", he said.

While Hardik Patel refrained from lending open support for Congress in the upcoming Gujarat assembly election, he vowed to fight against BJP. "Also, there is no conflict within PAAS", Hardik said.

Implementing the quota might be hard.

"The law of the land is very clear and is laid down by the Supreme Court, and only reaffirmed last week in Rajasthan's case that 50 per cent reservation cap can not be breached".

The Congress formula to give reservations to Patidars including OBC and non-reserved categories will change the Gujarat game.

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"Though it is very much clear that reservation can not go beyond 50 per cent in any situation, Hardik is trying to misguide the Patidar community with the formula offered by the Congress". Article 46 is a part of directive principles of the state policy and exhorts the state to promote the educational and economic interests of weaker sections.

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader said the Congress will include the extension of reservation benefit to Patidars in its election manifesto.

On November 20, the PAAS workers protested against Congress Party in Ahmedabad and Surat, expressing dismay over the ticket distribution for the assembly polls.

Reacting to the development, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the "Congress-Hardik club" is one of mutual deception. In the I R Coelho case on January 11, 2007, the apex court ruled, "The constitutional validity of the Ninth Schedule laws on the touchstone of basic structure doctrine can be adjudged by applying the direct impact and effect test, that is the (fundamental) rights test, which means the form of an amendment is not the relevant factor, but the outcome thereof would be (the) determinative factor". The BJP government has met all other demands.

Hardik mentioned that with an aim to fight the BJP, the Patidars will offer support to Congress, directly or indirectly.

  • Megan Austin