Gujarat poll drama: Congress wins over Hardik Patel, BJP gets aides

Gujarat poll drama: Congress wins over Hardik Patel, BJP gets aides

Gujarat poll drama: Congress wins over Hardik Patel, BJP gets aides

"Unemployment is a huge problem with lakhs of youngsters without jobs, more than 74,000 farmers are neck deep in debt, illicit liquor flows freely in the state despite prohibition and education and health sectors are in a total mess", Thakor said, adding, "Me, Hardik Patel and Jignesh are all going to join hands with the Congress party to defeat the BJP".

Not to be left behind in the race for Gujarat, the Congress appealed to Patidar leader Hardik Patel to join forces with the party against the BJP.

They joined the BJP after a meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and state party chief Jitu Vaghani during its parliamentary board meeting, which was also attended by BJP president Amit Shah. Reshma and Varun Patel both have reportedly accused the Patidar's leader of becoming a Congress agent.

Thakore, meanwhile, said he and his supporters would formally join the Congress at a massive rally in Gandhinagar on Monday.

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On Saturday, Mr Solanki also told media that the Congress party invited Alpesh Thakor, Hardik Patel and Dalit agitation leader Jignesh Mevani to contest the assembly polls from the Congress party. "I also invite Chhotu Vasava, who helped us in the Rajya Sabha polls, to support the Congress", he said. The minimum age required for a person to contest an Assembly or Lok Sabha election in is 25.

The moves are aimed at boosting the Congress's prospects in a state where the party is out of power for 22 years. Hardik Patel himself said, "I can not contest polls (He is 24 years old and the necessary age to contest elections is 25) and I will not contest". The sources said the BJP would rely on a similar plank in Karnataka where Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who himself hails from a backward caste (Kuruba), of the Congress is relying on a coalition of OBCs, Dalits and minorities to win a second term.

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti has been protesting against the ruling BJP-led government with demands of reservation for Patidar community.

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