Hours after the Congress said that it had reached an agreement with the Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti in Gujarat, the two parties clashed on Sunday night, ANI reported.
The Congress announced its first list of 77 candidates for the Gujarat Assembly elections on Sunday, following which members of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti attacked its offices in Surat and some other parts of the state. Workers of the two outfits also clashed near the office of Congress leader Praful Togadia in Surat.
The Patidar leaders said that they had been ignored in ticket distribution, according to The Times of India. “Congress announced tickets to Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti members without consulting our core committee,” the outfit’s co-convenor Dinesh Bambhania was quoted as saying. “We will register a strong protest by attacking Congress offices.”
The Surat convenor of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, Dharmik Malaviya said that they would not allow the city Congress’ offices to operate unless their outfit got a proper share of seats. The first list announced by the Congress included two Patidar leaders, Lalit Vasoya from Dhoraji in Rajkot and Amit Thummar from Junagadh.
The Assembly elections in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 9 and December 14. The results will be declared on December 18.
Earlier on Sunday, the Congress had said it had resolved certain differences with the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which has been demanding reservation for the Patidar community. It was these differences that reportedly prevented the party from announcing its list of candidates for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections.
Hardik Patel was expected to make an announcement about the alliance, but reports said that he may not do so now.
This development came a day after the Patidar outfit gave the Congress a 24-hour deadline to come to a decision on reservation for the community. Candidates have till Tuesday to file nomination papers to contest the polls.