Not openly extending support to Congress in Gujarat elections: Hardik Patel

Patidar leader Hardik Patel said on Wednesday that Congress has created an acceptable formula over quota for the community if the party is voted to power in the Gujarat assembly elections to be held next month.

Hardik said if voted to power, the Congress had made a decision to give quotas to Patidars under article 46, protected by article 31C of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, clearing the air about ticket distribution, Hardik, "I never asked for any ticket from the Congress party to contest the assembly polls and there is "no conflict within the PAAS".

Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel today pledged his support to the Congress for the Gujarat Assembly elections, in a major fillip to the partys bid to sew up a new caste combination to wrest the state from the BJP after being out of power for 22 years.

Importantly, Congress refrained from getting into the specifics of how it plans to implement the "special category" quota, limiting itself to saying that it has the "wisdom" to find a way out. The Congress, he said, has offered an acceptable solution for how to include Patels as beneficiaries of affirmative action policies.

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However, Patel has told the media that PAAS was not looking for tickets from Congress and rather wanted to focus on the reservation issue.

The politically influential community has traditionally been a BJP vote bank and Congress has been trying to lure them as the Patidars are disenchanted with the current government.

It was only after the Congress accommodated as many as five of the 89 candidates in the first phase of polls that Hardik Patel chose to back Congress. "The Congress-Hardik club is one of mutual deception".

Earlier OBC leader Alpesh Thakor of the Gujarat Kshatriya-Thakor Sena had joined the Congress. "The beneficiary group will be given name accordingly later on", he said.

Garnering Patidar support might also be hard. "BJP using its tactics as it fears defeat". The BJP government has met all other demands. Now, this election will turn out to be a massive fight between Congress and BJP.


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