The chaos at the BJP President Amit Shah’s Patidar rally in Surat has left the party’s top leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi incredibly rattled.
Fearing the prospects of the prevalent anger among the state’s influential Patel community potentially translating into electoral disappointment next year, Modi has summoned the former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel to Delhi.
An IANS report said that Anandiben Patel, who quit as chief minister just over a month ago, left in a private plane to Delhi.
Anandiben Patel too was present on the stage on Thursday night when angry Patidars chanted anti-Shah slogans and threw furniture in the air.
A former home minister, Shah had ensured massive police presence at the rally venue in Surat.
Shah, according to eye witnesses, was forced to conclude his speech in just four minutes.
Supporters of Hardik Patel went on a rampage, chanting his name and vandalising the furniture.
The crowd chanted “Hardik, Hardik” while Shah sat on the stage and Union minister Purshottam Rupala addressed the crowd.
Shah was in Surat to attend a huge rally by the BJP to honour the new Patel ministers in the government led by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
Patels, a traditional BJP supporters, have fallen out with the saffron party after the state’s BJP government ordered a crackdown against them during their agitation last year.
The Gujarat government had arrested hundreds of Patel youths in connection with violence at the venue of Shah’s rally.
But, the state government on Friday ordered the release of all 135 Patel agitators detained for creating ruckus at a function where chief minister Vijay Rupani and BJP President Amit Shah were heckled.
“Our CM and party President Amit bhai Shah have a big heart and hence decided to release all those persons who were detained yesterday in Surat,” said Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja. As many as 135 protesters were detained by police for creating ruckus in and around the venue and ransacking furniture.
Upon receiving the order, all those detained were released this evening, said PN Patel, Inspector at Kamrej in Surat under whose jurisdiction the incident took place.