Published: Wed, November 22, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Congress suggestions on Patidar quota as per Constitution: Sibal

Congress suggestions on Patidar quota as per Constitution: Sibal

Minutes after Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel joined hands with Congress ahead of upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson and state deputy chief minister Nitin Patel alleged that the Rahul Gandhi's party is "bargaining with Hardik only to divide the Patidar community".

"We are accepting the formula given to us by the Congress party".

"The Congress has agreed to provide reservation to the Patidar community", Patel told reporters here. "However, we are happy that a joint alliance will fight together against BJP and that the people of the state will finally see an end to BJP's 22-year rule", he said.

"We never asked any political party for contesting or for tickets for elections".

The first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections for 89 seats will be held on December 9 and for the remaining 93 on December 14.

Malviya in his statement to the press, also said that "Both Gajera and Jirawala were continuously supporting our quota movement as they also have a huge public support in the respective areas". Patel expressed confidence that the people of Gujarat "will not be misled by such Congress activities". Also, he said Patidars will support Congress because if they come to power, then they will bring in a bill to grant reservation.

The Congress had already nominated Manhar Patel, a rebel Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member who defected to the party, as its candidate for Botad to take on former Industries Minister Saurabh Patel. Under these circumstances, it is unlikely that the apex court will entertain the Congress' plea of providing further reservations to Patels in Gujarat. "We had not demanded any seats, but we had asked the Congress to put up candidates of our community, who have a strong character", he said.

"We did not seek any ticket from Congress".

Hardik had kept the Congress on the edge after postponing his media interaction twice in the last few days.

Patel said he was accepting the formula not just on behalf of PAAS but after speaking to several community leaders and key religious organisations - Khodaldham and Umiyadham. The results will be announced along with that of Himachal Pradesh assembly on December 18.

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