Gujarat Assembly polls : Hardik Patel says Congress has accepted Patidar's demands

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal thanked Hardik Patel for declaring his support to the party after it accepted the Patidar communitys quota demand, and said their united fight would ensure that the BJP was dethroned.

Meanwhile, clearing the air about ticket distribution, Hardik, "I never asked for any ticket from the Congress party to contest the assembly polls and there is "no conflict within the PAAS". The grand old party is hoping that a deal with Hardik will help them end BJP's 22-year rule in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home turf.

The BJP dismissed the alliance with a visibly angry deputy chief minister Nitin Patel saying, "Fools (PAAS) asked (for reservation), and fools (Congress) made promises". "His (Hardik's) mistakes have been forgiven considering him as a son, else so many like him have come and gone".

Nitin even accused the Congress Party of bargaining with Hardik Patel and trying to divide the Patidar community.

Mr. Patel, however, refrained from pledging his support to Congress.

Implementing the quota might be hard. Last week, it was reaffirmed that the 50 per cent reservation cap can not be breached. Under these circumstances, it is unlikely that the apex court will entertain the Congress' plea of providing further reservations to Patels in Gujarat. The PAAS leader said the Congress had "accepted all issues" and had agreed to give Patidars reservations if they won the Gujarat polls.

Article 46 puts the onus on the state to promote the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of Indian society and "protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation". "When Patidars talk about defeating the BJP, the message is clear that the Congress must be supported", he went on to say on the social networking site. "Legally and constitutionally it is not possible as the law stands today", he said.

Earlier OBC leader Alpesh Thakor of the Gujarat Kshatriya-Thakor Sena had joined the Congress. But his claim of having consulted two top Patidar religious bodies - the Shree Khodaldham and Umiyadham - was dismissed by the outfits. The BJP government has met all other demands.

  • Tracy Klein