Hardik aide quits PAAS, says he must come clean

Hardik aide quits PAAS, says he must come clean

In a jolt to Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel, his closest aide Dinesh Bhambaniya quit from the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), a day before the first phase of polling begins in Gujarat.

Bhambaniya was co-coordinator for PAAS and had been a close associate of Hardik since the beginning of the agitation in July 2015.

He stood by Hardik through the thick and thin of the agitation, including when Hardik was jailed or sent out of state on bail.

Bhambaniya, too, has been facing cases of sedition, along with Hardik. In fact, Bhambaniya was leading talks with the Congress on the quota issue.

He quit PAAS questioning the Congress' stance on reservations and asking Hardik to come clean on a series of sleaze videos that have gone viral.

"We met the Congress twice over quotas. They made a fool out of us. Our main fight is for reservations and not to get the Congress in power. The entire agitation appears to have lost its way….Till 2017 elections are over, no rallies should be held to help any party," Bhambaniya told the media.

Bhambaniya also said that he is not going to join any political party.

Before Bhambaniya, Hardik lost three other close aides – Ketan Patel, Amrish Patel and Shweta Patel – who joined the BJP.

Two other prominent faces of the Patel quota stir – Varun Patel and Reshma Patel – too joined the BJP.

The first signs of trouble between Bhambaniya and Hardik emerged soon after the Congress announced its list of candidates for Patel-dominated constituencies of Surat and Saurashtra.

Bhambaniya stormed into the residence of state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki past midnight and created a ruckus.

He was later detained for misbehaving and illegal entering residential premises.

Next day, Hardik held a press conference to announce that he had accepted the Congress' formula.

"Only I will communicate with you henceforth and only my word would be official," Hardik had told the media with Bhambaniya sitting next to him.

Hardik had even announced his plan to restructure the PAAS core committee.

This, observers say, did not go down well with Bhambaniya who may have decided to quit before being shown the door officially.

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