Narendra Patel, a convenor of Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, on Thursday released an audio tape purportedly of his conversation with former Patidar leader Varun Patel who has now joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, NDTV reported. The Patidar leader has said he would present it in court on November 3 as proof that five people, including top BJP member Jitu Vaghani, had bribed him to join the saffron party.
In the clip, two voices are heard discussing how Narendra Patel would be paid after he joins the BJP. A voice, identified by Narendra Patel as that of Varun Patel, says he would be given 60% now and 40% later.
Narendra Patel is heard objecting to the installments. He says, “But the deal was for [the] whole amount.” He is reassured by the other person, “60% today, 40% tomorrow before the samellan [gathering]...the responsibility for the deal is mine.”
Narendra Patel claimed he had joined the BJP on October 22 only to expose the party in front of the media. “Varun Patel made a Rs 1 crore deal with the BJP for me,” Patel had claimed at a press conference immediately after joining the saffron party. He spread out bundles of cash that were allegedly handed over to him. “He gave Rs 10 lakh in advance,” Narendra Patel had said.
The Congress and the BJP have been trying to gain the support of the Patel community ahead of the upcoming Assembly election in Gujarat. Hardik Patel on Thursday said he was ready to support the Congress if its Vice President Rahul Gandhi would support his community’s demand for reservations in jobs and education.