Hardik Patel backs Congress after agreement on Patidar quota

Hardik Patel backs Congress after agreement on Patidar quota

He said the cap put by the Supreme Court was just a "suggestion", and there were ways to go beyond the limit set by it. "I am against any sort of horsetrading", Hardik said.

Surat: There was drama on the last day of filing of nomination papers here on Tuesday and the people enacting the characters in it were from Congress. Nilesh Kumbhani was replaced as party's candidate from Kamrej assembly constituency in a late night announcement.

24-year-old activist Hardik Patel addressed a press conference today in Dholka, about 40 km from Ahmedabad, to clarify where he stands on supporting the Congress for next month's Gujarat assembly elections. "BJP has only lollipop for Patidars", Mr. Patel said.

Nitin even accused the Congress Party of bargaining with Hardik Patel and trying to divide the Patidar community.

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Jignesh Mewani, a lawyer-activist who shot into prominence after organising a string of protests against the Una incident where Dalits skinning a dead cow were flogged on the suspicion of slaughtering it, has also indicated his support to the Congress. He further clarified that PAAS "never asked for any ticket" and also, there was no conflict within PAAS. On the 50 per cent reservation cap set by the Supreme Court, he said it is just a "suggestion" and nowhere in the Constitution is it written that reservation can not exceed the current limit.

Earlier in the day, Hardik said the formula mooted by the Congress for the community envisaged reservation for the Patels that would be over and above the quotas for the schedule castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes (OBCs).

Reacting to the development, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the "Congress-Hardik club" is one of mutual deception. "In my opinion, this formula of reservation is a big joke", Patel told reporters in Ahmedabad. Interestingly, Bambhaniya who had a meeting with state Congress leaders on Sunday evening, before the tickets were announced, had first informed the media that the two outfits had reached a consensus and that the Congress had accepted all the demands of PASS and Hardik would formally announce about it in the Rajkot rally on Monday.

He added that in elections, only those promises should be made to each other and the public that could be implemented, otherwise "you deceive your own constituents".

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