Narendra Patel, a convenor of Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, on Sunday alleged that he was offered Rs 1 crore to cross over to the Bharatiya Janata Party in poll-bound Gujarat, NDTV reported.
The Patidar leader had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday evening. He had joined the BJP in the presence of Hardik Patel’s former aide Varun Patel, who had also crossed over to the saffron party along with another key worker, Reshma Patel.
“Varun Patel made a Rs 1-crore deal with the BJP for me,” Patel claimed at a press conference, as he spread out bundles of cash that were allegedly handed over to him. “He gave Rs 10 lakh in advance. They are going to be giving me Rs 90 lakh tomorrow [Monday], but even if they give me the entire Reserve Bank, they will not be able to buy me.”
Narendra Patel claimed he had taken the money only to expose the BJP in front of the media.
Varun Patel denied the allegations. He said the charges were “baseless and motivated by Congress as the party fears that Patidars are swinging back to BJP after realising the Congress game plan”. The BJP has not yet reacted.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said Gujarat can never be bought. “Gujarat is priceless. It has never been bought. It can never be bought. It will never be bought,” he said on Twitter.
The move gains significance as the Congress and the BJP have been trying to gain the support of the Patel community ahead of the upcoming Assembly election. On Saturday, the Congress had invited Hardik Patel to join forces against the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has been in power in Gujarat for the past two decades.