Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader Hardik Patel on Tuesday told his supporters not to believe media reports about him and his outfit fighting for tickets for the Gujarat Assembly elections, according to The Indian Express. “Our only resolve is to defeat the ones who have committed atrocities on us,” said Patel at a rally in Dholka near Ahmedabad.
“I have neither sought tickets from anybody nor am I going to do so in the future. We must not forget the martyrdom of the 14 Patidar youths [killed during the quota violence] for four-five seats,” he added.
Patel did not openly support the Congress too. “I will not tell you who to vote for,” he said. “Both the BJP and the Congress are the same. For them, people are of no value...Just use your wisdom while casting your vote and choose the one who assures you justice.” He added: “We are fools that we have the same government for 25 years,” he said. “Instead, we should support the one who talks about giving us jobs, affordable education and subsidy to farmers.”
Patel also told people to stop asking him about reservation for the community as he was not a part of the government, the Hindustan Times reported. “In order to oppose me, some people ask me when the reservation will be allotted? I should’t be asked this question. I am not the government,” Patel said.
The Congress, meanwhile, has said that the Patidar outfit was supposed to make an announcement regarding the quota arrangement. “The talks have been positive. Now, it is up to the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti to make related announcement,” Congress state president Bharatsinh Solanki told Hindustan Times.
Patel was supposed to formally support the Congress and announce the reservation formula that the two parties had decided during a rally on Monday. However, the rally was cancelled following a clash on Sunday night between the Congress and the Patidar outfit after the Congress announced its first list of 77 candidates for the elections, leaving only three seats for the Patidar outfit. Hours earlier, the two sides had said they had come to an understanding. The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti is believed to have sought 20 seats.
On Monday night, the Congress released the second list of candidates and replaced four candidates in a move seen as meant to placate the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti. However, Patel did not make any formal announcements on Tuesday either.
The Gujarat Assembly elections will be held in two phases – on December 9 and December 14. The results will be declared on December 18.