Gujarat Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Sunday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party during a rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Bundelkhand, and said he was ready to support the Congress to defeat “fascist forces trying to divide society”, PTI reported. Assembly elections are due in Madhya Pradesh later this year.
Patel said Dalit MLA Jignesh Mevani, OBC leader Alpesh Thakore and he were ready to “work in Madhya Pradesh like we did in Gujarat”. The three young leaders did manage to dent the BJP’s voter base in the Gujarat Assembly elections in December 2017.
“If asked, I would extend support to the Congress,” Patel said. “I am fighting against fascist forces which are trying to divide society and change the basic concept of the Constitution.”
At a rally organised by the Pichda Varg Sanyukt Morcha and local farmer organisations at the Garhakota town in Sagar district, Patel asked the crowd who they thought was responsible for the region’s “parched land, dry rivers, struggling animals and lack of progress”.
“Our farmers, workers, Dalits, backward communities… are in danger,” he said, according to , the Hindustan Times. “The whole of India is in danger. If you don’t wake up, we will be finished. We have to change an era.”
The Patidar leader said if people vote “for small gains, they will continue to rule us and we have to continue agitations like these”.
The Madhya Pradesh Congress’ chief spokesperson KK Mishra said Patel had exposed the “misrule and corruption” of BJP governments at the Centre and in states. “Congress appreciates his move.”
State Rural Development Minister Gopal Bhargava, however, said his people “know who resolves their issues”. “Patel will not come from Gujarat to resolve their issues. I trust my people,” he told the Hindustan Times.