<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The friction between Congress and the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) took a violent turn on Sunday night, less than an hour after the party declared its initial list of 77 candidates.Unhappy that they had been given a cold shoulder by the Congress, PAAS workers gathered outside the party’s offices in Surat, Junagadh, and other places and resorted to arson. The Congress and PAAS workers exchanged blows and manhandled one another.PAAS leader Dinesh Bambhania reached state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki’s residence to speak with him about the poor representation given to PAAS nominees.The State Congress headquarters in Ahmedabad was closed for security reasons after the violence broke. A large number of police personnel were also deployed at the party’s offices in Surat and other places to prevent any further untoward incidents.PAAS had demanded around 10 tickets from the Congress, but the initial list had only two of its nominees, viz. Lalit Vasoya from Dhoraji, and Amit Thummar from Junagadh.”We were not taken into confidence before announcing the tickets. We appeal the PAAS conveners not to file their nominations,” he said last night.However, disregarding the appeal, Lalit Vasoya filed nomination as a Congress candidate on Monday.Bambhania had warned of more protests against Congress during the day, but there were none. It is believed that this was because Patdiar agitation leader Hardik Patel asked Bambhania to back off.Bambhania, who alleged in the morning that an unidentified caller had threatened to kidnap his son from school, could not be reached for a comment despite several attempts.PAAS convener from Surat, Dharmik Malaviya said that the people chosen by Congress have the image of hooligans, and they do not agree with the names. He also warned that they would not allow Congress to operate if the candidates were not changed.Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi attributed the PAAS protests to confusion within its ranks.”We are speaking with them to remove the confusion. Everything will be fine in a few hours,” Doshi said.The violence erupted a few hours after a meeting between Congress and PAAS team over reservation. Emerging from the meeting, both sides claimed that they reached an agreement, and a formal announcement would be made by Hardik Patel in Rajkot on Monday.Reacting to the violence, chief minister Vijay Rupani said that the clashes exposed the PAAS leaders working as Congress agents.”This shows that the PAAS leaders were not agitating for reservation, but to make Congress win in the upcoming election,” he said.THE INCIDENTUnhappy that they had been given a cold shoulder by the Congress, PAAS workers gathered outside the party’s offices in Surat, Junagadh, and other places and resorted to arson. PAAS leader Dinesh Bambhania reached state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki’s residence to speak with him.
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