Patidar quota deal reached: Hardik Patel announces pact with Congress, slams BJP
"The Congress has agreed to what the BJP has denied us for years. It has assured us of the quota," Patel said.
Breaking his silence on the tie-up with the Congress in the crucial Gujarat Assembly election, firebrand Patidar leader Hardik Patel today said the Congress has assured him of reservation for his community in educational institutions and jobs.
"The Congress has agreed to what the BJP has denied us for years. It has assured us of the quota," Patel, 24, said in a press conference in Ahmedabad. "The Congress will make Patel quota part of its manifesto and bring the reservation bill after coming to power."
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
- Denying that he is joining any political party, Patel said he has not asked for tickets for himself or anybody. He also denied there is any rift within the PAAS.
- The Patidar leader attacked the BJP for "constantly maligning me" and accused it of "trying to buy him" by offering Rs 1200 crore.
- "Several horsetrading attempts are being made with our conveners in North Gujarat. Rs 50 lakh was recently offered. BJP is using its tactics as it fears defeat," Patel said.
- "We are not openly extending support to the Congress, but we will fight the BJP. So directly or indirectly, there will be support to the Congress," he said.
- Patel said the Congress quota formula is acceptable to him, and that discussions with the party are on over sharing of the seats for the two-phase Gujarat election beginning December 9.
- Hardik has been campaigning for reservation under the OBC quota for the Patidars. The ruling BJP has refused the reservation under the OBC category, but had offered 10 per cent quota under a new category of economically backward class (EBC).
- The Congress, which has not ruled Gujarat for 22 long years, claims to have worked out a formula under which it will be able to offer inclusion for the Patidars without reducing any existing benefits to the OBCs.
- et for the last 72 hours, the Patidar Anamat Aandolan Samiti (PAAS) convener was expected to announce support for the Congress after the party bowed to PAAS pressure and changed as many as five of the 89 candidates in the first phase of polls on December 9.
- The deal between the PAAS and the Congress appears to have been worked out with sources in the Congress saying atl east four seats have been given to Patidar candidates in consultation with Hardik.
- On Tuesday, Hardik Patel had called off his press conference after differences cropped up with the Congress over the Botad constituency. Putting an end to the logjam, the Congress replaced Manhar Patel, an NCP defector, with DM Patel.