Politics

Hardik Patel Urges Patidars Not to Vote for BJP, Calls for Other Communities to Join Fight

Patel said that with the state elections around the corner, the BJP would offer the Patidar community many “lollipops” in their fight for reservation.

Hardik Patel. Credit: PTI Photo

Hardik Patel. Credit: PTI Photo

New Delhi: Gujarat Patidar leader Hardik Patel has urged Patidars not to vote for the BJP in the state assembly elections in December. Patel was addressing the community on his three-day Sankalp Yatra, which began in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

“It is our duty to liberate our community which has been enslaved for the last 25 years. The post-Godhra riots of 2002 were between Hindus and Muslims. But as a matter of fact, 140 Patidars are serving life imprisonment even today. They (the BJP) have only exploited our votes and notes (money) and gave nothing in return,” he said, according to a report in the Indian Express.

Patel, who has been demanding reservation for the community for two years now, said that the BJP would give them many “lollipops” now that the elections were around the corner. “But don’t vote even for my father, Bharat Patel, if he fights the election from Keshod as a BJP candidate,” he said.

The BJP government had threatened to file cases numerous times, Patel said, “But we have always maintained that we are ready if you want to fight legally and also if you want to fight by gundagardi (hooliganism).”

The 24-year-old leader said other communities should join hands with the Patidars to oust the BJP from power, “Let us, we Patidars and other communities, get together and remove those who are behaving like dictators and goons.”

Talking about the Congress, Patel said, “You would be wondering what the Congress did in 1985. But all they did was to threaten that they will force upper-caste women to wait in queues to get oil. They didn’t kill anybody. But these people (BJP) killed 14 boys. They don’t have any right to be in power for the next 50 years,” according the the Indian Express. He also took jibes at the Congress MLAs who voted for the BJP in the recent Rajya Sabha elections.