23 November, 2017
In a strong comment on the Congress and Hardik Patel reaching a so-called pact on Patidar quota within OBC category for the upcoming elections, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made it clear, that the two sides can only mutually deceive each other.
Sagar Savalia, who ran the "Vikas Gando Thayo Chhe" (development has gone crazy) campaign against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat, attacked Hardik Patel for diverting his attention from Patidar reservation to electoral politics.
Hitting out at Hardik Patel for declaring support to Congress, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the formula of reservation above the cap set by Supreme Court was something "offered by fools and also accepted by fools". However, he did not say about PAAS alliance with the Congress.
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". This would eventually bring Patidar support for the Congress, especially when the party was looking after the community's interest, said the leader of PAAS.
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Though the deal was brokered by Congress legal eagle Kapil Sibal, he left it to Hardik to make the announcement to the media. "So directly or indirectly, there will be support for the Congress", Hardik said at a press conference in Ahmedabad.
Under the proposal, the influential Patels, traditional voters of the BJP, would get reservation in government jobs and educational institutions beyond the 49 per cent quotas for the SC, ST and OBCs. There is no disagreement between the Congress and Patidar leaders. Congress gave its ticket to Ashok Jirawala, yet a defiant Kumbhani filed his nomination papers with the party mandate at 10.30 am on Tuesday.
Late on Monday night, the Gujarat Congress, in an attempt to placate the furious Patidar leaders, released a second list of 13 candidates. Among the four new inductions, there were three from the PAAS. Elections in Gujarat to be held on 9th and 14th December.