Hardik turns philosophical as supporters slug it out with Cong

Last Updated 20 November 2017, 18:58 IST

Patidaar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel released a video on Monday, asking supporters not to oppose his move to meet Congress leaders.

The request came even as a section of leaders from PAAS were embroiled in a tug of war with the Congress.

In the 45-second video, a person says, "Our ancestors were right when they said that Patel's marriage party could travel only till village boundary. This Alpesh Thakore joined the Congress...That Jignesh Mevani, the Dalit leader, he met Rahul Gandhi...When our brother goes to meet the Congress leaders for the benefit and future of our community, many persons from our community oppose Hardik. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You are educated. You use social media. You must support Hardik Patel."

This video is accompanied by a message from Hardik: "Not for me but for the community and families of martyrs. Do not forget the martyrdom of 14 youngsters."

Hardik appeared philosophical on his social media platform, quoting a couplet by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee about the need to overcome challenges. He also appealed to his supporters to remember those who lost their lives for the cause.

Hardik was supposed to make an announcement in Rajkot about the "agreement" reached between the Congress and PAAS on Sunday.

However, the developments late on Sunday evening appear to have shaken his confidence and no word other than philosophical messages on social media were shared.

As soon as the Congress announced its first list, one of Hardik's close aides, Dinesh Bhambaniya, and his supporters barged into the house of state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki.

They were protesting against the inclusion of names of some PAAS convenors in the list.

"We want to know with whose authorisation has the Congress included their names. None of them will file nominations till it is clarified," Bhambaniya said.

He even got into an altercation with the police and was later detained for some time.

PAAS members were seen barging into the Congress's offices across the state and creating a ruckus. They also burnt effigies of PAAS convenors who had been given tickets.

The situation went to such an extent that the Congress headquarters in Ahmedabad was locked and paramilitary forces had to be called in.

Several PAAS members from Halvad reached the BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar to join the party, claiming that they would now ensure a victory for the BJP.

The PAAS and the Congress were trying to iron out differences till late in the evening. The Congress may include more PAAS representatives in its list.

(Published 20 November 2017, 15:54 IST)

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