Gujarat polls: Hardik Patel tweets that it's not just him, but 6 crore Gujaratis who will battle the BJP

Temperatures in election-bound Gujarat is soaring. A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the offensive against the Opposition parties, especially Congress, and alleged that they were 'anti-development', Patidar leader Hardik Patel and his aides alleged corruption against the state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In a tweet, Patel said that he is not the one asking questions from the BJP government in Gujarat, "BJP ke saamne main nahi, Gujarat ki 6 crore janata lad rahi hai. Vyapaari, kisaan, sabhi samuday, labourers BJP ki tanashahi se pareshaan hain (Not me, but the public of Gujarat will be fighting against BJP. Traders, farmers, all communities and labourers are tired of BJP's dictatorial attitude.)"

The Patidar leader on Monday tweeted:

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has set out for a three-day visit to Gujarat and he is expected to meet Hardik, however, there was no official confirmation on the same. Rahul is also expected to meet OBC leader Alpesh Thakor who announced he was joining the Congress on Saturday. Thakor had announced his move in New Delhi after an evening meeting with Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and Rahul. Thakor and his supporters are expected to formally join the party at the rally in Gandhinagar.

The party is trying to woo leaders such as Patel, Mevani and Thakor who have significant support base in their respective communities.

"Rahul Gandhi will be coming to Ahmedabad on Monday. We have invited Hardik Patel and other leaders of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti. They had given a memorandum to us and we are positive about their demands," said Bharat Singh Solanki, president, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, on Sunday.

On Monday, another controversy hit the Gujarat BJP - an activist of the Hardik-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) has claimed the BJP offered him Rs 1 crore to switch loyalties, a charge rubbished by Gujarat's ruling party.

Gujarat polls: Hardik Patel tweets that its not just him, but 6 crore Gujaratis who will battle the BJP

A file photo of Patidar leader Hardik Patel. AFP

North Gujarat PAAS convener Narendra Patel announced in the presence of state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani last evening that he was joining the party. At about 10.30 pm, a couple of hours later, he called a press conference to allege that he was offered Rs 1 crore to go to the ruling party but would never betray his community.

Reacting to the allegations, the BJP claimed it was a "drama" staged at the behest of the Congress.

"All these allegations are false. It was a drama (enacted) by Narendra Patel at the behest of Congress. He voluntarily came to us to join the BJP and then took a u-turn within hours. It proves that everything was pre-planned," Gujarat BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said today.

At the press conference, Narendra Patel showed Rs 10 lakh cash to mediapersons, claiming it was given to him as "advance" by former PAAS leader Varun Patel, who had joined the BJP on Saturday.

He alleged that the "entire deal was brokered by Varun".

"He told me that I will get Rs 1 crore. After meeting Vaghani at his house, I was taken to the state BJP headquarters on Sunday night where I was given Rs 10 lakh as advance by Varun. I was told that I will get the remaining Rs 90 lakh on Monday during a BJP function," Patel alleged.

He said he followed Varun's instruction and joined the BJP just to "expose" the party. "I can never betray my community. The BJP can't buy me and my loyalty for the Patidar community," he said.

Narendra Patel's accusations came a day after two of Hardik Patel's key aides - Varun Patel and Reshma Patel -joined the BJP, alleging that the quota agitation spearhead had become a "Congress agent" and was trying to use it to overthrow the present state government.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 25, 2017 15:46:08 IST

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