Hardik Patel, the leader of Patidar quota movement in Gujarat, has urged his community members not to vote for the BJP in the coming assembly elections, scheduled for December.
The fiery leader asked Patidars not for the saffron party even if they fielded his father in the upcoming Assembly elections, reported Indian Express.
Patel said, “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 (BJP) have only exploited our votes and notes (money) and gave nothing in return.”
Speaking at the rally of Patidars at Ajab village in Keshod taluka of Junagadh district on the second day of his three-day Sankalp Yatra, Patel said, “The election is around the corner. They (BJP) will give you many lollipops. Some will even come to buy you. But don’t vote even for my father, Bharat Patel, if he fights election from Keshod as a BJP candidate.”
The young Patel has been hounded by the police in Gujarat and Rajasthan after he led a statewide agitation in 2015. More than a dozen members of Patel community were killed in police crackdown. Faced with a possibility of a setback in the assembly elections, the BJP had sacked the then state chief minister, Anandiben Patel, replacing her with Vijay Rupani.
Patel told his community members to come together to oust the BJP from the state.
He said, “The Patidars’ quota agitation has been going on for the last two-and-a-half years. They (BJP government) threatened to file many cases. 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). Let us, we Patidars and other communities, get together and remove those who are behaving like dictators and goons.