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PAAS not one person’s property: Dinesh Bambhania

Dissident colleague of Hardik Patel in Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), Dinesh Bambhania has raised several questions on Hardik Patel’s integrity and honesty again. Bambhania called a news conference on Friday and said PAAS’ Chintan Shibir, scheduled on December 30, was an eyewash. Bambhania, pointing towards Hardik, also said PAAS should not remain an asset of one person alone.Bambhania said, “They are going to hold Chintan Shibir tomorrow but they have given tokens to the sycophants of Hardik Patel, so that no voice of protest arises in meeting. I have not resigned from any post in PAAS and I have been debarred. PAAS is not personal property or ancestral asset of someone, that everything could be run at the behest of that person.”Bambhania also put the list of questions before media and said the PAAS members who attend the meeting should ask those questions to Hardik. He said, “The PAAS members should ask Hardik how he managed to purchase properties at Ahmedabad, Surat and Viramgam; who bears the expenses of Hardik and his several aides’ lavish life style; what was the use of the funds collected by Patel community; why he did not file police complaint against the person who prepared Sex CD and many more.”Bambhania also alleged that Hardik Patel and his colleagues are meeting for Chintan Shibir to analyse the results of polls, when PAAS was totally an apolitical outfit. He held the meeting as eyewash and drama. Dinesh also put the allegation on Hardik Patel that he had demanded 30 tickets from Congress for his men for Gujarat polls.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel in the dock for Ahmedabad poll rally without police permission

Merely two days after election results were announced in Gujarat, a police case was lodged on Wednesday against Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel and his associates for organising a roadshow on December 11 despite not having permission from the authorities.A case was lodged with the Bopal police in Ahmedabad against the Patel, who is the convenor of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), Raju Patel, Suresh Patel and 50 other members of the Patidar movement for disobeying a police notification. They have been booked under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.”In future, more cases are going to be lodged against me, this is just the start,” Patel said in response to the case. “After 9 days from the day of the incident they have opened their eye, if it was really about the notification they could have lodged the case on the same day of the rally and wouldn’t have waited. They had a fear at that time and waited for the election results to get announced. I know there is more going to come and I am ready for it.”The police, however, dismissed his allegations.”Due to the election bandobast duty and its process, the FIR process was on hold,” said Bopal police station inspector I H Gohil. “Only on Tuesday we got a reply from the Daskoi Taluka Mamlatdar regarding the matter and finally lodged a case against Patel and 52 of his members for disobeying the police order.”On December 11, City Police Commissioner AK Singh had denied permissions for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s roadshows scheduled for the next day, citing security and law-and-order issues, as well as public inconvenience. Permission for Hardik Patel’s 52-km roadshow was also denied; instead, he was allowed to have a convoy along the route with a maximum of 5 vehicles a day before.AK Singh, in his order, had said that “If any individual disobeys the police notification legal actions will be taken against them.”Nonetheless, Patel conducted the roadshow starting from Guma crossroad and ended it in Nikol area, where he was to conduct a public meeting. About 5,000 people joined the roadshow.

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Modiji we are done with you, go to Himalayas: Jignesh Mevani

Two days after winning the Vadgam seat as an Independent candidate in the Gujarat Assembly election, Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch convenor Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should retire and ‘go to the Himalayas’.”I would very pro-actively want to say that Modi ji we are done with you; you are now boring to us. You should go to the Himalayas and visit a Ram Mandir and ring bells there,” he said. “They (BJP) were claiming they would win 150 seats but that pride has been crushed; the same will happen in 2019. It is a victory for our movement. In the coming days, we will intensify our movement in the Assembly and on streets, will also corner them in 2019,” he addedContinuing his tirade, Mevani claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had cheated with 8 crore youngsters by promising them jobs. “He (PM Modi) made fake promises. He should apologise for cheating the people. Why doesn’t he talk on the valid points? Why no canal has been made in Narmada River” he added.Also readEven as MLA, Jignesh Mevani won’t give up on agitation, says family He further stated that more than one dozen parties had given them )OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, Patidar agitator Hardik Patel and him) support and their unity would defeat the prime minister in the 2019 elections. Mevani won from Gujarat’s Vadgam seat, defeating BJP’s nominee Vijay Chakravarti by 19,696 votes.Jignesh Mevani led the movement against the ruling BJP and tried to unite Dalits and Muslims through his rallies like that of ‘Chalo Una’.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Hardik Patel puts blame on EVMs, vows to continue ‘struggle’

Young Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Monday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been able to win in Gujarat Assembly elections only because of money and EVM tampering.Talking to reporters as trends showed BJP’s win in the Assembly polls, the 24-year leader said, “There has been tampering in EVMs in Surat,Rajkot and Ahmedabad, hence the gap is very less wherever tampering happened. EVMs are hackable.”He also vowed to continue his “struggle” for the people of Gujarat.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Key candidates and their fateAs per the official trends provided by the Election Commission at 3:30 pm, the BJP has already bagged 46 seats while it is leading on 63 others. Congress has won in 42 Assembly constituencies while its candidates are leading on 35 other seats.Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor urged all opposition parties to take this concern against EVMs forward. Also readGujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Rajnath Singh takes a dig at Rahul Gandhi, says ‘sar mundwate hi ole pade’ “If ATMs can be hacked, why can’t the EVMs,” he repeated his earlier remarks. Patel also congratulated the BJP for the win in a sarcastic tone. “I congratulate the BJP which wins the elections by tampering with the EVMs,” he said. On Saturday, Patel had also questioned Supreme Court’s decision to reject Congress’ plea, seeking cross-verification of Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails with votes cast with Electronic Voting Machines and asked why they were used in the Gujarat elections.He had also said if EVMs were not tampered with then the exit polls’ results, which showed BJPs’ victory, would be proven wrong.Hardik Patel, who led the Patidar quota agitation last year, had extened his support to the Congress and had extensively campaigned against the ruling BJP.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Hardik Patel questions authenticity of EVMs

PAAS leader Hardik Patel has questioned the authenticity of EVMs on Saturday. Patel posted several tweets saying that BJP would try to tamper with EVMs. He also made the prediction that if EVMs were not tampered, BJP would win only 82 seats.Talking to mediapersons, he also questioned SC’s decision to reject Congress’ plea, seeking cross-verification of VVPAT with votes cast with EVMs and asked why they were used in the Gujarat polls. “Why are VVPATs used in the first place? It is used for smooth counting of votes wherever there is a fault. I do not understand SC’s stand on the issue,” Hardik said.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel held a roadshow at Vadodara

Patidar leader Hardik Patel led a roadshow with his supporters in Vadodara, a few hours before closing down political campaigns for the second phase of Gujarat Assembly polls. The show saw a clash between supporters again.The rally was attended by Patidar supporters who were seen carrying flags of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PASS). The 5-6km roadshow began in Chhhani and ended in Sangam cross roads. On Monday, Patel took out a motorcycle rally in Ahmedabad.PAAS supporters clashed internally during the rally and then with the police. Cops intervened to control the matter but it still went out of control, and some policemen were also assaulted. This is not the first time that such a clash has been reported in Patel’s rally.It started with slogans against Patel and the mob gathered there threw that fellow off from the roof of the vehicle. The episode took place after Patel’s speech.Last month, Patel made headlines after he claimed that the Congress had agreed to give reservations to the Patidar community, if the party comes to power in Gujarat.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: BJP, PAAS workers clash during rally

The PAAS members responded to the said BJP member, other BJP supporters raised their voice and started arguing with PAAS members. The dispute took a violent turn after the PAAS members started beating up a BJP member. As PAAS members went on offensive, BJP members allegedly hurled stones during the rally. Even PAAS members retaliated by throwing stones at BJP supporters. Police immediately sprung in to action and brought the situation under control.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Tuesday 12 December 2017 2:48 ISTMust readGujarat elections 2017: PM Modi lashes out at Cong in VadodaraGujarat elections 2017 | By raking up riots, Congress trying to appease minorities: Amit Shah<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>BJP and PAAS members clashed at Bapunagar during PAAS leader Hardik Patel’s rally on Monday. The incident took place at around 5.30pm near the Bapunagar crossroad, when one of the BJP member started abusing PAAS members.The PAAS members responded to the said BJP member, other BJP supporters raised their voice and started arguing with PAAS members. The dispute took a violent turn after the PAAS members started beating up a BJP member. As PAAS members went on offensive, BJP members allegedly hurled stones during the rally. Even PAAS members retaliated by throwing stones at BJP supporters. Police immediately sprung in to action and brought the situation under control.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel’s ‘shadow’ moves far from PAAS over Congress tilt

A day before the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections, a top PAAS leader came out in the open against the Hardik Patel-led organisation slamming its tilt towards the Congress.A convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, Patidar Dinesh Bambhania held a press conference in Gandhinagar to level allegations against PAAS, including the claim that the recent sex videos purportedly showing Hardik Patel could not all be morphed.While Bambhania, considered a ‘shadow’ of Hardik, initially said that he had quit from all PAAS posts, he later clarified that he did not resign and that he would make his stand clear after the elections. Bambhania is the fourth leader to quit Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti.”Neither was I convinced nor agreed to the reservation formula offered by the Congress. It is deceptive. I therefore, resign from all PAAS posts. I would continue my struggle for reservation for the Patel community,” he told mediapersons before doing a U-turn.Bambhania also raked up the sex clips allegedly involving Hardik Patel. “Only one video can be morphed. It is not possible that all the released videos could have been morphed.”Despite his opposition to the Congress formula, the PAAS leader said, he had no plans to switch side. “I’m not going to join BJP like our former colleagues did. My commitment for my community will always be my priority.”An hour later, Bambhania released another press communique saying he was very much a part of PAAS. “I would not make any appeal to voters of Gujarat for any party but I will clear my stand only after the polls are over.”Hardik Patel did not comment on the development, but PAAS spokesperson and convener from Surat, Alpesh Kathiriya, said Bambhania’s utterances could have been driven by some rich businessmen or a BJP heavyweight.Kathiriya said, “He should have made these statements with his senses. I would say that when polls are to be held the next day, people should not take stand following the statements of any PAAS leader but should remember the struggle of the Patel community in past three years.”

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Gujarat elections 2017: Surat lodged case against Hardik Patel

A case has been lodged with the Surat police station on Friday against PAAS convener, Hardik Patel for politicising a rally which was conducted for social and education purposes.The Election Commission of Gujarat has lodged a case regarding the matter with the Surat police station under the Gujarat Police Act 1951, Section 36(A), Power of Commissioner or the District Superintendent and of other officers to give direction to the public, 72(2).The section says that a cop may arrest someone without warrant and impose a penalty for flouting the rule.As per officials, Hardik was given police permission to conduct a rally in Punagam of Surat on December 3 for social and education purposes. As per permission point number 14, he was not allowed to politicise the rally by using any political names.During his speech in the rally, he used political names, regarding which a complaint was lodged with the Surat police station against him for not following the norms of the permission.The case has been registered and further investigation regarding the matter is going on.WHAT HARDIK DIDDuring his speech in the rally, Hardik used political names, which he was not permitted to do.

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Gujarat elections phase 1: BJP will look to grab early initiative in South Gujarat and Saurashtra

With 89 seats in the fray in the phase one of Gujarat election including the bell-weather Saurashtra region, the result of Gujarat elections 2017 may well get sealed on Saturday. That is, if BJP can even show 70% of its past domination in Saurashtra-Kutch and South Gujarat, areas that are going to poll on Saturday.But with a rampaging Hardik Patel attracting massive crowds in Surat, Rajkot and other urban fortresses of BJP, CM Rupani trapped in a tricky fight and simmering resentment among cotton and groundnut farmers in Saurashtra, the saffron party can barely catch a break or afford to be complacent.For Congress, aided by nitro boost given by the trio of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mevani, it is harbouring hopes of winning seats in places where they have virtually given walkover in last two decades.As Rahul Gandhi said, a wind of change is blowing. Congress will hope the wind is strong enough to blow away the best laid plans of Shah-Modi. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: BJP released manifesto after we raised questions about it, says Rahul Gandhi(Hardik Patel connecting with voters- PTI)48 seats in Saurashtra and 6 in Kutch are BJP’s best bet to take an early stride in the elections. It hopes the presence of Rupani contesting from Rajkot west and state president Jitu Vaghani will give the party much needed boost and shield them from Patidar anger. Patidars are the second-most largest voting group in this region only next to the Kolis. Reports indicate while the younger Patidars are steadfastly behind Hardik , the older ones haven’t still forgotten the snub they received during Congress’s KHAM formation. Even among the Patels, the Kadva Patels look increasingly galvanising behind Hardik, while BJP still has hope of finally getting a sizeable chunk of votes from Leuva Patels. In Saurashtra and Kutch, BJP won 38 of 54 seats in 2012. What goes in their favour is Keshubhai Patel’s GPP merged with BJP in 2014, which cut significant share of votes in 2012. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: Priest says he was attacked for supporting BJP and HindutvaBJP is almost consigned to suffering some losses in places like Rajkot, Jamnagar, Morbi where there is significant impact of Patel agitation. But considering it was leading in 52 of the 54 Assembly segment in 2014 general assembly, the party hopes that it has a sufficient buffer to emerge ontop even after suffering some loss in its fortress. The party’s headache has been only increased with presence of Shaktisinh Gohil of Congress contesting from Mandvi, which is in Kutch. Congress hopes to make inroads in Kutch so far dominated by BJP with Gohil’s presence. (Rahul Gandhi in Kutch- PTI)In South Gujarat, BJP virtually swept in 2012 winning 28 of the 35 seats including all 12 in Surat. It has increased clout in South Gujarat in successive elections under Modi winning 15 in 2002, and 18 in 2007. However like rest of Gujarat, it is finding the going rough in South Gujarat as well. The double whammy of demonetization and GST has taken the sheen off the party’s goodwill among the larger trader class in cities like Surat, Vapi, Valsad, etc. The party hopes that tweaking of GST norms would help it to ride the choppy waters. It enjoyed a nearly 20% gap in popularity in the urban centres. Even if it is down by 10%, the party can hope to win a decent number of seats. But that will be only known on December 18. BJP has given 31 Patidars tickets in phase 1, more than Congress. However Congress too is looking to get Koli-dominated seats by giving tickets to people from that caste. Finally, it all boils down whether Gujaratis get enticed by the message of change brought by Congress or repose faith in NaMo magic. The difference may even be the low blow given by Mani Shankar Aiyar, pun intended. Whatever be the result, the build-up has been the most thrilling in close to two decades. Who would have thought that was possible after the 2014 BJP whitewash?

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Hardik Patel booked by Surat Police on direction of EC after his rally breaches conditions

On Friday, Patidar leader was booked, on direction of Election Commission, by the Sarthana police under sections 36, sections 134 and 72(2) for breach of conditions under which his Jankranti Maharally was granted permission.Earlier in the day, Hardik Patel had mocked the BJP for not releasing its manifesto, which was recently released. He had posted a tweet in Hindi claiming the BJP was so busy ‘making’ sex CDs that it forgot to formulate and release the manifesto.Three days ahead of the first phase of voting for Gujarat state elections, five more videos of a Hardik lookalike had gone viral.Also readMore Hardik Patel videos surfaceThese videos have come at a time when Hardik is drawing huge crowds in Saurashtra and Surat and could upset the BJP’s apple-cart, which is aiming over 150 seats in the 182-seat Legislative Assembly. Hardik has allied with the Congress, after the latter proposed a formula to give Patidars reservation in education and jobs. The alliance has changed the course of the campaign in what previously considered to be a landslide victory for the BJP.Also readHardik Patel case: NCW team to meet aggrieved girlYoung Patidars, including women, have been rallying behind Hardik, who has taken the BJP government in the state head on.PAAS convener Dinesh Bambhaniya said the videos are a “conspiracy of the BJP” to discredit Hardik. Similar videos were released on YouTube, but were later pulled down. At the time, Hardik had denied he was in the video.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Patidar youth rally behind Hardik Patel, seniors still with BJPPatel has been campaigning across the State but mostly in Patidar-dominated pockets to create an anti-BJP atmosphere before the voting. Earlier, he had told the press that the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) had accepted the quota formula prepared by the Congress, which intends to give quota to the Patidars after it is voted to power.The first phase of the Gujarat election is tomorrow and the second phase on December 14. The results will be announced on December 18.With inputs from agencies

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Gujarat elections 2017: Still under 25, but age is no bar for these two candidates

Hardik Patel’s political plunge may have been stymied for now because of his age. But the age bar was not a stumbling block for the political ambitions of Mahesh Patani and Shailesh Patel. Despite being underage, their nomination was accepted as an independent.It should be noted that anyone under the age of 25 years of age cannot contest the assembly elections.The Association for Democratic Reforms and the Gujarat Election Watch, which pointed out the anomaly during analysis of affidavits of candidates, said it is a pointer to how well the forms are scrutinised.Patani is just 21-year-old, yet his candidature was accepted for the Palanpur seat. When contacted, Patani said he is a citizen of a democracy and has right to contest the elections. “What do you care if I am 21 or 41? If the returning officer has no problem why are you asking me about my age? I am a free citizen of the country and can contest the elections,” Patani told DNA.The returning officer of Palanpur, from where Patani filed his nomination, AD Joshi when contacted said they had noted the anomaly in his age and had asked him to rectify it at the time of filing his nomination. “He is 25 years of age.He had even given us proof of his age and had filed a second affidavit in place of the earlier one. Perhaps that one was not uploaded and hence the confusion was created. We know Patani is over 25 years of age,” said Joshi. As for Shailesh Patel, whose affidavit states that he is 18, is contesting from Ghatlodia. Sudhir Patel, the returning officer for Ghatlodia constituency however clarified that the error was in the affidavit and not in the nomination form.
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Gujarat elections 2017: BJP claims its support, Khodaldham rebuts

Hours after the BJP claimed that influential Leuva Patel community leader Naresh Patel had declared support for it in the coming elections, Shree Khodaldham Trust, the body that Patel heads, rebutted the claims, and asked voters to ignore any such messages.The media cell of Gujarat BJP sent messages to journalists on Tuesday afternoon stating that Khodaldham Trust chairman Naresh Patel had in a meeting appealed to the Patel community for a win for BJP and state BJP president Jitu Vaghani, who is contesting from Bhavnagar West seat. The media cell also released pictures of a meeting between Patel and Vaghani, and another with Patel and some Patidar community members.As the message went viral, Khodaldham Trust quickly came out to reject BJP’s claim.”A message has gone viral in social media that Nareshbhai has declared support for a particular party. This is a rumour, and I reject it,” Khodaldham Trust president Paresh Gajera said.Gajera said that Naresh Patel and Jitu Vaghani had met, but it was only a courtesy meeting.”Khodaldham Trust is a neutral body. It has never declared support for any party, nor has it spoken against any party. Patidar community is connected with all parties, and the Trust respects all parties,” he said, while reiterating that “Khodaldham is a non-political organisation, and wants to remain one”.Gajera also asked voters of the community to ignore any such messages and claims in the elections.Patidar reservation stir leader Hardik Patel, who has announced support for Congress in the elections, too had met Naresh Patel last week. Hardik had said after the meeting that he had cleared doubts that the Khodaldham chairman head. Even at the time, the Trust had reiterated its non-political role.The Patidars, one of the most influential communities in elections, have traditionally supported BJP in the past few decades, but many in the community are unhappy over denial of reservation benefits to them by the state government. They are said to be considering extending support to other parties, which is why both BJP and Congress are aggressively wooing the community.
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NCW team travels to Gujarat to speak to woman ‘sexually exploited’ by Hardik Patel

The National Commission for Women (NCW) today said its chairperson Rekha Sharma would meet the woman who was allegedly being sexually exploited by Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel.”A team from the NCW, with chairperson Rekha Sharma, will be heading to Surat tonight to meet a girl who, according to a complaint received by the NCW, is being sexually exploited by Hardik Patel,” a statement said.The rights body said the complainant in the case was not the victim, however, she was willing to speak to the officials of the NCW. “The complaint contains personal information about a girl who wishes to talk to the commission confidentially as she is scared to come forward. Rekha Sharma will talk to the media once the team has spoken to the girl and investigated the matter thoroughly,” the statement said.In a letter sent to the NCW, the complainant had referred to a sex video purportedly featuring Patel that went viral on social media. “I feel both the women seen in the CD were promised a post and money, and then physically exploited. Hence, all people seen in the CD should be called for their statements and a complaint should be filed against Hardik Patel for sexual exploitation,” the letter said. It also mentioned the name and phone number of one of the alleged victims whose two audio clips had gone viral. “…She was also sexually exploited by the PAAS convener,” the letter alleged. In the letter the complainant said “she fears defamation in society (and) hence refrains from coming out openly”. The NCW had earlier said it was also examining a complaint by Delhi-based lawyer Gaurav Gulati over sex videos, purportedly of Patel, that surfaced on social media.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Patidar youth rally behind Hardik Patel, seniors still with BJPThe Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader, who has joined hands with the Congress for the Gujarat elections, has said the videos were morphed and blamed the BJP’s “dirty politics” for them. Gulati had sent a complaint to the NCW on November 22, asking the commission to probe the matter and ask the police to file an FIR against the guilty person. The commission’s spokesperson today said the present complaint to them was different from the one sent to them by the lawyer.
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Gujarat people believe in vikaswaad, not caste-based politics: Amit Shah takes dig at Congress

BJP President Amit Shah said that the Patidar agitation had created an illusion ahead of the Gujarat polls, but said that it would soon be shattered because the Congress’ formula is ‘constitutionally impossible.In an interview with The Indian Express, the BJP president said that it had become clear that the Congress’ promise on reservations would not be made possible. “There is a sea change in the Patidar community, as this has become clear to most of them.”Expressing confidence in winning at least 150 out of 182 assembly seats in Gujarat, Shah also said that Gujarat believed in vikaswaad and caste-based politics was a thing of the past. Accusing the Congress of running a caste-based campaign, Shah said that apart from this they had no other issue.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | PM Modi to be back for two days today, Rahul Gandhi on 5thCongress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who has led the campaign in Gujarat, has constantly spoken on the poor execution of the Goods and Service Tax. However, Shah maintained that the recent tweaking in the GST had nothing to do with the Gujarat elections. “We have never said it (the Gujarat election) is a referendum on GST. But if the Opposition wants to make it so, we have no objections,” Shah said.The BJP President, however, did not dismiss the sentiments behind the agitations of new-age caste leaders Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani. He said that all parties should ignore political ideologies and put their heads together to find a solution to the issue. “It will be a long drawn-out process that requires prolonged discussions,” he said.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Patidar youth rally behind Hardik Patel, seniors still with BJPVoting is scheduled for December 9 and 14, and results will be declared on December 18
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Gujarat Elections 2017: Congress aims to bridge 9% vote gap with new allies

The Congress in Gujarat is banking on its star campaigner Rahul Gandhi and support from a clutch of caste leaders to bridge the around 9 % vote share gap that led the BJP to retain power in 2012.However, the saffron party, which is in power in Gujarat for over two decades, is not only confident of retaining its 2012 base, but also expanding the vote share.Gujarat will vote in two phases — on December 9 and 14 — to elect a new 182-member Assembly. The counting of votes will take place on December 18.The Congress is hoping attendance at Gandhi’s rallies will translate into votes and it will get an extra push from new-found local allies — Patidar quota spearhead Hardik Patel, OBC leader Alpesh Thakor and Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani.While Thakor has joined the Congress, Hardik Patel, who heads the Patidar Anamat Aandolan Samiti, has pledged his support to the main opposition party.Also readGujarat elections 2017 | Rahul Gandhi targets PM Modi over low government spending on educationMevani, who has positioned himself as the face of Dalit agitation in Gujarat, is contesting from Vadgam in North Gujarat as an independent. The Congress is supporting him by not fielding a candidate of its own.On the other hand, the BJP is focussing on holding together its votes from the trading community and tribals.Also readBJP the original pro-Hindutva party, why go for ‘clone’, Arun Jaitley taunts Rahul GandhiAccording to the Election Commission of India’s data on the 2012 Gujarat polls, the BJP had received 47.85% of the valid votes, while the Congress garnered 38.93 % votes, a difference of 8.92 % between the two parties.Though there was a difference of 9% votes, the BJP won 115 seats and the Congress 61. The NCP and Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party bagged two seats each.The Janata Dal (U) won one seat and an independent, too, emerged victorious.In 2012, Gujarat had over 3.8 crore voters, spread over 26 districts. The turnout was 72.02%, the highest-ever in Gujarat’s history, according to an EC report released after the 2012 polls.As per the latest electoral roll, Gujarat has over 4.35 crore voters.According to Kuwarjibhai Bavaliya, working president of the Gujarat Congress Pradesh Committee, this time the party is posing a stiff challenge to the BJP.”Our own campaign, Hardik Patel’s appeal among the Patidar community and Alpesh and Jignesh’s acceptance within the OBCs and Dalits will make a significant dent (in the BJP vote share),” Bavaliya told PTI.”The Congress was on its own in 2012 and there was no Hardik, Alpesh or Jignesh. If the Congress alone could secure 38.93%, then with these three new factors, we will certainly gain further,” the Congress leader claimed.But, the BJP is not willing to buy this logic.Harshad Patel, the Gujarat BJP spokesperson, said, “After 2012, there was 2014 general elections where the BJP made huge gains in most of the Assembly constituencies.”The Congress led in just 17 Assembly constituencies in 2014 elections. Given this kind of support just three years ago, the BJP’s performance in this election would be much better than 2012,” Harshad Patel said.”It is true that the BJP is just 9% ahead of the Congress in vote share, but look at the number of MLAs we have.”And going by the mandate in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls (the BJP had won all the 26 LS seats in Gujarat), we are likely to get a similar response from voters this time too.With this, we will win more seats than in 2012,” he claimed.BJP president Amit Shah has set a target of winning 150-plus seats in his home state.However, Harshad Patel’s claims do not find support among the political pundits.Jayesh Thakrar, a veteran journalist from Rajkot, said, “The Congress contested 176 seats (in 2012), whereas the BJP fielded candidates on all the seats (182). Despite this, the Congress is just 9% behind the BJP in vote share. This is a plus point for the Congress.”In 2012, there were 28 assembly seats where the winning margin was less than 4,000 votes. This means, both the parties had almost an equal chance to win all these seats.Out of these seats, the Congress bagged 17, the BJP seven and other parties won the rest.Thakrar said, “Though the Congress had faced stiff competition in 2012, this time Patidar, OBC and Dalit leaders are campaigning for the Congress candidates as well. It means, the BJP candidates in these seats will have to make extra efforts to swing votes in their favour.”Thakrar is editor of ‘Sandesh’, a prominent newspaper in Saurashtra, founded in 1923.
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Gujarat Elections 2017: Congress deceiving people over issue of reservation, says CM Rupani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has accused the Congress of seeking refuge in casteism and “outsourcing” its campaign to caste leaders while dismissing any threat to the BJP’s poll prospects from the Congress-Hardik Patel tie-up.He alleged that the Congress was “deceiving” the people over the issue of reservation, while the agitators were lining up for poll tickets. Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel’s open support to the Congress in the December Assembly polls is not an electoral alliance but a “deal” between two sides, the 61- year-old BJP leader said, describing Hardik as a “media- created” leader. Rupani dubbed Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who is extensively campaigning in Gujarat, as a “gappidas” (teller of lies) and accused him of dishing out fabricated statistics about the BJP-ruled state.”From what I understand, I can say it (Congress-Hardik alliance) won’t have any effect (on the BJP) as they are exposed. They have kept aside the original demand of reservation and agitators have lined up to get Congress tickets,” he said. Rupani was replying to a question on the impact of Hardik Patel pledging support to the Congress in the Gujarat polls. “While the Congress is not speaking a word on how will it give reservation to the Patidars (if it comes to power), he (Hardik Patel) is declaring support to the Congress. This shows there is ‘saudebaazi’ (deal) (between them),” Rupani told PTI in a wide-ranging interview.The Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti’s (PAAS) support to the Congress after accepting the party’s formula on giving quota to the Patels over and above the 50 per cent cap is being seen as a potentially game-changing development in Gujarat, ruled by the BJP for over two decades. Rupani, however, said the promise of giving quota breaching the Supreme Court-fixed cap of 50 per cent can’t be fulfilled. “The country has seen many agitations on reservations and during one such agitation in 1980s over 100 youths were killed under the Congress government in Gujarat,” he charged.The Supreme Court’s largest bench has said reservation cannot be given beyond the 50 per cent limit, Rupani said. “I have a challenge for them – engage top lawyers of the country and get their opinion. Nobody will endorse the formula given by the Congress except Kapil Sibal, who is from that party,” he said. “The Congress formula on giving reservations above the 50 per cent cap is an attempt to deceive the people and it won’t work. This exposes the deal,” he further said.Rupani targeted the opposition, saying it has no poll agenda or issues to raise against his government, while the BJP is seeking votes in the name of development. “The opposition has no agenda, while the BJP’s agenda is development. They are caught in our agenda of development and had to start a campaign of ‘vikas gando thayo che’ (vikas has gone crazy)’ to mock development,” he said when asked if the opposition is setting an agenda for the 2017 elections.Bereft of any meaningful issue, the opposition is taking refuge in caste-based politics, said Rupani, who took over as CM in August 2016 replacing Anandiben Patel. “As the opposition does not have any issues against us they are taking refuge in casteism. The Congress is outsourcing its campaign by bringing in symbols of casteism like Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor (OBC leader), Jignesh Mevani (Dalit activist) and tribal leader Chottu Vasava.”They want to satisfy their hunger for power by using caste as a tool. The Congress and all these casteist leaders will drown (in polls),” Rupani said.The chief minister said the BJP will achieve its target of winning 150-plus seats in the state (which has a 182 – member Assembly) despite caste and community leaders declaring support to the Congress. “Hardik, Alpesh are nothing now. They do not have much sway on their communities. They are leaders created by the media. They are exposed. They are working as Congress agents,” he said. “They are indulging in full-fledged politics. Whatever they are doing is for their personal gain and for grabbing power. The reservation issue has been sidelined and they are queueing up for getting (poll) tickets. It is good they have been exposed before the polls,” he said.To a question on Gandhi’s aggressive campaigning in Gujarat, Rupani said he is just reeling out wrong numbers, but this strategy won’t work with the Gujarat voters.”I have called him a ‘gappidas’ (teller of lies). He is saying that 30 lakh youths of Gujarat are unemployed, while the figure registered with employment exchange is six lakh,” he said. “He is saying 13,000 schools have closed down in Gujarat (since the BJP came to power in 1995), but the fact is 17,000 new schools have come up in our time. Dishing out wrong facts will not go down well with the people of Gujarat,” he said. The chief minister agreed the Gujarat election results are important as it is the home state of Prime Minister Modi and also BJP president Amit Shah.”The country has one election or the other after every six months. Every election is important. Of course, Gujarat is the home state of Prime Minister Modi and BJP president Amit Shah…and elections here are very important,” he said. “When Modi was the chief minister, people gave us 120 seats and now when he is the prime minister they will give 150 seats to us,” Rupani said.Asked about poll surveys predicting a drop in the BJP’s vote share this time, the chief minister said he is not aware of any such survey. He said the Congress fears Modi’s popularity.”I am surprised the opposition is raising the question that the BJP will fight the elections on the popularity of Modi. The Congress has outsourced their campaign to caste leaders while Modi is our leader,” he said. “In fact, they fear Narendra Modi and that is the reason they are saying the BJP’s campaign will be Modi-centric,” Rupani said when asked if the Gujarat elections are being fought on Modi’s name. When pointed out that the BJP has still not declared him as the chief ministerial candidate, Rupani said, “Such decisions are taken by the party’s central leadership. I am a loyal party worker. I have shouldered all responsibilities given to me (till now) and will do so in the future also.” Rupani, seeking re-election from the Rajkot-West seat, said during his short tenure as CM, he has taken decisions for the welfare of different sections of the society.”I have taken many pro-people, pro-women decisions and worked with utmost sincerity and simplicity. I meet everyone with humility, I always consider myself as a representative of small people,” he said. “I am easily approachable to anyone who wants to meet me. I feel that due to this approach, I have made a base (in Gujarat),” Rupani added.

Hardik-Congress club one of mutual deception, 50% reservation cap can’t be breached: Arun Jaitley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the club consisting of the Congress and Patidar leader Hardik Patel was one of ‘mutual deception’ as they were deceiving each other as well the voters.Speaking at a media briefing, the union minister said, ‘The Congress-Hardik club is one of mutual deception. The law of the land is very clear and that has been laid down by the Supreme Court. Last week, it was reaffirmed that the 50 per cent reservation cap cannot be breached. They (Hardik Patel and Congress) can continue to mutually deceive each other and the public by saying that they will devise a methodology of breaching the cap.”He added that in elections, only those promises should be made to each other and the public that could be implemented, otherwise “you deceive your own constituents.
ALSO READ ‘A fool made a request and another fool accepted it’: BJP says Congress gave ‘lollipop’ to HardikPatidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel today declared his support to the Congress for the Gujarat Assembly elections, saying that the opposition party has accepted the demand of giving reservation to his community in a “special category”.The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader said that reservation formula given by the Congress for his community will be over and above the 50 per cent quota for the SC, ST and OBCs.
ALSO READ Hardik Patel says Congress agreed to Patidar quota demand, asks party to put details in manifestoOn the 50 per cent reservation cap set by the Supreme Court, he said that it is just a “suggestion”.Hardik said if the Congress comes to power, it will conduct a proper survey for providing reservation. The party will bring a Bill in the state Assembly and give reservation, he said.”My fight in Gujarat is against the BJP and that is why we will directly or indirectly support Congress (in the elections) as it has accepted our demand for reservation,” he added.”Congress has promised to include our demand in its manifesto,” he said.”The percentage of reservation under a special category to be given to us will be decided after the survey conducted by the commission to be formed by the government.” “As per the formula, without touching the 49 per cent quota (now provided in the state) to the Schedule Tribes (ST), Schedule Castes (SC) and Other Backward Class (OBC), the Congress has decided to provide quota to the communities, who have not got the benefit of reservation so far under Article 31 (C) and Article 46 of the Constitution,” he told reporters here.Article 46 of the Constitution says the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.Article 31 (C) has two parts. The first part protects a law giving effect to the policy of the state towards securing the principles specified in Articles 39 (b) and (c) from being challenged on the ground of infringement of the Fundamental Rights under Article 14, 19 and 31.The second part of Article 31 (C) originally sought to oust the jurisdiction of the courts to find out whether the law in question gave effect to the principles of Articles 39 (b) and 39 (c).When pointed out that the Supreme Court had “restrained” the Rajasthan government from taking any action on conferring the benefit of reservation resulting in crossing the total reservation beyond 50 per cent, Hardik said, “This (50 per cent cap) is just a suggestion of the Supreme Court.” “In our Constitution, there is no mention of 50 per cent cap on reservation. I am of the firm opinion that reservation can be given over 50 per cent,” he said.Hardik also said that there were no differences with the Congress over seat-sharing. “We had not demanded any seats, but we had asked the Congress to put up candidates of our community, who have a strong character,” he said.Asked what will he do about the PAAS members who have filed nomination papers to contest elections, Hardik said that they will no longer be members of the organisation.Hardik also accused the BJP of trying to buy PAAS members by offering Rs 50 lakh.The Congress, which has mounted a hectic campaign to dislodge the long-ruling BJP in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and saffron party chief Amit Shah, has been wooing the Patel stir spearhead for quite some time.Elections in Gujarat will be held on December 9 and 14.With inputs from PTI and ANI

‘A fool made a request and another fool accepted it’: BJP says Congress gave ‘lollipop’ to Hardik

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel declared that the Congress party had accepted its demand for reservation, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that the Congress gave a ‘lollipop’ to Hardik.The Patidar leader has said the Congress will include the extension of reservation benefit to Patidars in its election manifesto.However, reacting to the development, Nitin Patel said, “A fool made a request and another fool accepted it, and they say others are fool (Moorkh ne darkhwast di aur moorkh ne darkhwast maani, aur doosre ko moorkh bolte hain).Stating that the Congress party is misleading Hardik Patel, Patel said, “Hardik is aware that over 50% reservation is not possible. In the name of reservation, Congress has given a ‘lollipop’ to Hardik.”Nitin even accused the Congress Party of bargaining with Hardik Patel and trying to divide the Patidar community.Meanwhile, clearing the air about ticket distribution, Hardik, “I never asked for any ticket from the Congress party to contest the assembly polls and there is ‘no conflict within the PAAS’. “Our organization will continue to fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat,” he added.The Congress, which has mounted a hectic campaign to dislodge the long-ruling BJP in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and saffron party chief Amit Shah, has been wooing the Patel stir spearhead for quite some time.(With agency inputs)

Gujarat elections 2017: No impact of Hardik Patel CDs beyond titillation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Listen to this. It’s hilarious. I cannot open it in front of family, but it is a must watch,” says Vikas Pandya, a young tour operator, opening up a video message on WhatsApp in the corner of a pan parlour at Station Road.The video shows a bearded youth wearing goggles targeting Hardik Patel in choicest of expletives for daring to stand up against Modi and trying up with Rahul Gandhi. Within 10-12 seconds he is forced to close it amid a huge roar of laughter making others curious.”There has been a sudden deluge of such videos, mostly related to Hardik Patel and Rahul Gandhi in past one week,” says Pandya signalling that the poll season has finally arrived in Gujarat.But will such gullible videos have an impact on polls? People have different take.For Patidar community, instead of harming, the videos and messages against Hardik Patel have helped the movement and generated a deluge of sympathy.Hardik’s lawyer Yashwantsinh Vala rubbishes it as cheap tactics by the BJP’s dirty tricks department in desperate bid to counter Hardik’s popularity.When the CDs related to Modi’s spy case and Sanjay Joshi case could not have an impact, what impact will these fake CDs have, he asks.”People were long expecting this. They knew that BJP will bring out some CD related to Hardik. Had there been a corruption case it would have mattered, but not this. Many BJP leaders are themselves against it,” Vala says.To back his claim, Vala cites example of Hardik’s rally on Saturday that got massive response in BJP chief Amit Shah’s hometown Mansa in central Gujarat.At the rally, Hardik challenged BJP to bring out a CD of their development in last 22 years instead of producing CDs of a 22-year-old youth.According to Professor Pradeep Singh Choondawat in the Department of Sociology, MS University, Baroda, individual-centric videos, especially on vulgar lines or related to sex, do titillate but don’t have much impact.”Such messages have become so rampant that they do not affect the minds of people. Message becoming viral does not mean change in people’s mind as they are literate and aware about social issues and often pass it as a joke,” says Prof Choondawat.For a message to make impact, there needs to be discussion and debate and it needs to be backed with evidence, he says.Regarding serious messages on religious lines like the recent video in Gujarat trying to portray fear of minority community through a girl and his family, Prof. Choondawat says they do have impact on some segments of people in a limited way who take them seriously and already have some view about it.”But it is very limited on scale and needs a debate in the society at large to have a lasting impact,” he adds.

Gujarat elections: Patidar leaders give Congress 24 hours deadline to decide on reservation issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after Hardik Patel expressed satisfaction over the options given by the Congress, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leaders have reportedly given the party a 24-hour deadline to declare their stand on the reservation status for the community.The development comes a day after PAAS leaders flew to the national capital to hold talks with Congress leaders regarding their demand.”Now we have given a 24-hour ultimatum to the Congress. If you don’t accept the demand, then we will assume that you don’t need support in the next election,” PAAS convener Dinesh Bambhania told NDTV.The Congress party has also not announced its list for Gujarat Assembly polls due to on-going talks with Patidar leaders, even as Central Election Committee of Congress chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi held deliberations for the second time on Friday.The PAAS group has made known its opposed stance to the ruling BJP in Gujarat in the coming elections.Hardik had earlier set a condition that he would support the Congress in the Assembly elections, due next month, only if the party committed itself to allotting reservation in education and government jobs to his community.The polling for the two-phase elections in Gujarat will take place on December 9 and 14 and votes will be counted on December 18.

Congress to hold on to list for longer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress is likely to hold back on announcing its list for Gujarat Assembly polls for a few more days till there is clarity on its on-going talks with Patidar leaders led by Hardik Patel even as Central Election Committee of Congress chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi held deliberations for the second time on Friday.Sources said that a group of leaders from Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti met Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and AICC in-charge for Gujarat Ashok Gehlot separately.Emerging from the CEC meeting, Gehlot told reporters that a discussion had been completed on almost all the seats but the list of candidates will be released in a day or two as talks on an alliance with Sharad Pawar’s NCP and JDU were also going on.”All the 182 seats may have been discussed but we will have to leave our claim on some seats when the alliance happens,” he said adding that both JDU and NCP want to have an alliance with Congress and vice versa.On a day when the Election Commission recognised Nitish Kumar’s JD-U as the party and allotted the arrow symbol to it, Gehlot said that that it has now split into two and Congress is talking to Sharad Yadav regarding the alliance with Chhotu Bhaavi Vasava led party in Gujarat.”We are also talking to NCP and when the discussions are complete, we will release our list,” he said.NCP had in the high pitched Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat a few months had sided with BJP. Both its MLAs in Gujarat had voted for the BJP and Ahmed Patel could emerge victorious only after Vasava’s vote in its favour and Election Commission declaring two other votes null and void.PAAS leader Hardik Patel has met senior leader of NCP Praful Patel a number of times in recent days, fueling speculations.Gujarat goes to poll in two phases on December 9 and December 14. The election result will be declared on December 18. In first phase 89 of 182 seats will go to polls and the party is keen to declare candidates all the 89 seats at least on November 16.

Gujarat Elections: PAAS leaders in Delhi, to meet Congress leaders to decide strategies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leaders will on Friday meet the Congress leaders to decide strategies after Hardik Patel’s alleged sex-videos went viral.The PAAS conveners Dinesh Bambhania, Lalit Vasoya, Manoj Panara and Dr Kirit Patel reached for the meeting in New Delhi, but the conveners have been avoiding to divulge the agenda of the meeting. The PAAS convener Dinesh Bambhania said that the meeting is aimed at discussing the formula for reservation to Patidar community, presented by Congress before Hardik Patel in a meeting held in Ahmedabad last week.The PAAS leaders have also demanded tickets from Congress as the party is about to release the list of the candidates”The PAAS conveners including Bambhaniya are going to meet Rahul Gandhi and they will decide on future course of action after the video footages involving Hardik Patel surfaced. They have reached to get Congress’ guidance when Hardik Patel is preparing to make a blasting revelation at the Mansa rally slated on Saturday,” said a senior PAAS leader on the condition of anonymity.He added that another agenda of discussion will be on tickets and the PAAS has already demanded 10 to 15 tickets from Congress on different seats.Vasoya has been preparing for the Upleta-Dhoraji seat in Rajkot district, while Panara is all set to make a political debut from Morbi constituency, the leader added.

Gujarat CM and state BJP unit chief behind Hardik Patel’s ‘morphed’ sex tape: PAAS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) today alleged that the Gujarat chief minister and state BJP unit chief were behind the “morphed” sex clips of its leader Hardik Patel, a charge rejected by the ruling party.The BJP dismissed the allegation as “baseless” and termed the circulation of the video clips as the “fallout” of a dispute within the PAAS.”We have learnt that a Surat-based builder who is a BJP supporter and another person are behind these morphed clips.They did it at the behest of the Gujarat chief minister (Vijay Rupani) and the state BJP unit president Jitu Vaghani to tarnish Hardik’s image ahead of the polls to save the BJP,” PAAS convener Dinesh Bambhania alleged at a news conference.This was done as part of a “Rs 40 crore deal”, he alleged, but did not elaborate.Bambhania, a close aide of Hardik, further alleged 52 more such “morphed” videos were prepared outside India by the two Surat-based persons on the directions of the BJP.At least three ‘intimate’ videos purportedly of Hardik are currently reported to be in circulation. Hardik had attacked the BJP after the first clip surfaced.”As the BJP is worried about Hardik’s rising popularity, they have planned to put him behind bars ahead of the polls to stop further damage to the party,” Bambhania alleged.”Our sources have told us that 52 such morphed clips are still there, out of which, 22 clips are of Hardik while remaining clips are of other PAAS leaders,” he said.Bambhania said PAAS will initiate legal action in the coming days after consulting lawyers and will make the “evidences” public to prove BJP’s “involvement”.Refuting the charges against the BJP leaders, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said there is a “strong possibility” that the sex clips were prepared by a dissident PAAS worker out of a grudge or a dispute.”As PAAS has claimed that 52 more CDs are still there, it shows that they are aware that their own workers might have prepared them. It is an internal matter of the PAAS. BJP leaders have nothing to do with it. Instead of giving excuses, PAAS leaders need to come out clean and give proofs,” Patel told reporters.It is “very much likely” that one of the two persons the PAAS is claiming to be behind the videos was associated with the Patidar body before parting ways “over distribution of funds, allegedly given by the Gujarat Congress to PAAS for fanning protests,” he said.”All the allegations against our CM and state party chief are baseless. It is very much possible that the dispute within the PAAS regarding the funds led to this shameful episode. The BJP is nowhere in the picture,” Patel added.Hardik is posing a challenge to the ruling BJP as he holds sway over a chunk of Patidars, considered as loyal voters of the saffron party.The Congress has been trying to wean away Patidars ahead of polls for caste consolidation. Though Hardik has not yet opened his cards, he has put the commitment to reservation for Patidars as a pre-condition to support the Congress.

Voting for third party not solution, voting out BJP is: Jignesh Mevani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stopping short of asking people to vote for Congress, young Dalit leader from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday said that his gut feeling was that people would not commit the mistake of voting for any third party in the bipolar election in Gujarat, where they have decided to replace the BJP that has been ruling the state for 22 years.In a freewheeling chat with the national media at Press Club here, Mevani said BJP has to be defeated in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections in order to oust the party in the 2019 general elections.While evading a direct reply as to whom the people of Gujarat should vote for, if he wants to see the BJP defeated, Mevani said, “The 6.5 crore people of Gujarat have made up their mind. They know whom to vote to defeat the BJP. They also know whom not to vote to avoid ruining their vote. My gut feeling tells me people will not commit that kind of mistake this time.”While he said that he does not want to associate with any particular party and that his meeting with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi some time back was just to get his views on his demands for Dalits, Mevani was at great pains to highlight that “the difference between the BJP and all other parties is that the BJP is a fascist party, which wants to impose a Hindu Rashtra concept, going beyond the preamble of the Indian Constitution.””We are not supporting any political party,” Mevani emphasised.”The people of Gujarat have decided to bring to an end the 22-year misrule of the BJP, and we will use our full force in achieving this,” he said.His response came in reply to questions as to whether he was asking his supporters to vote for the Congress and which party people should choose this assembly election in the bipolar politics of Gujarat.Speaking about reservation, Mevani said he has left it to political parties to address the aspirations of communities like Patidars for quota, as it was a complex constitutional process.Training guns on the BJP for its poster campaign with tagline RAM (Rupani, Amit Shah and Modi) versus HAJ (Hardik, Alpesh, Jignesh), Mevani said instead of coming out with a ‘communally polarising campaign” with such slogns, the BJP should focus on the development front.Backing Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel, who has been caught in a sex CD row, Mevani said talk of ‘roti, kapda aur makan’, noteban and GST not CDs. “Not only mine but even your CD will come out if this practice of deploying cameras in the bedroom of people continues,” Mevani said when asked whether he feared that some CD may come about featuring him.”Counter us ideologically. Counter Harid Patel and Jignesh Mevani on development arguments and not through CDS. There is nothing wrong in a consensual relationship between a man and a woman,” Mevani said.Mevani, convenor of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, also announced to organise a massive rally in Gujarat on December 6, the anniversary of Babri mosque demolition in Ayodhya and dared Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to debate development with him on any forum in Gujarat.Mevani’s open letter to HardikComing out in support of Patel reservation stir leader Hardik Patel, activist and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday wrote an open letter to Hardik.“Looking at the manner in which the BJP is cornered in Gujarat, we should not be surprised by such sex CDs. The Patel community stands firm behind Hardik. The sex tape episode shows how low politicians can stoop.”
“I firmly believe the person in the tape is not Hardik. The tape is part of a larger conspiracy. Now, even if the person in the tape is Hardik, it should not be anyone else’s concern.”
“Our concern should be about the 50 lakh Gujaratis who do not have jobs… about malnourished children. About people hit hard by demonetisation and GST.”
“What will the country achieve by making public CDs of someone’s personal life. What about the dignity of the woman who is shown in the CD?”

Congress workers attack Zee journalists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Journalists and production team of Zee News were attacked by Congress workers in Jamnagar during the shooting of an election-related talk show on Tuesday evening.The incident occurred when the production team was busy shooting a show ‘Game of Gujarat’, of which Congress leaders were also part of. The Congress leaders got angry when question related to Patidar leader Hardik Patel’s alleged sex tape cropped up, and they started protesting at the venue.Congress leader and former MP Vikram Madam asked the Zee journalists and production team to not only stop shooting of the talk show, but also demanded that the entire recording be deleted.Witnesses said that when the Zee team refused to comply, Madam, who is seeking a ticket from Congress to contest in the upcoming assembly elections, asked his supporters to attack the team and to create a ruckus. He also allegedly asked them to damage the venue.”Zee News anchor Aman Chopra, journalist Vishal Pandey, and other members of the production team were threatened and manhandled by the Congress workers. The protesting Congress workers included a female sitting councillor and one former councillor,” said an eyewitness to the incident.The situation could have gone out of hand, but with the intervention of the local journalists, the police personnel present at the venue tried to bring things under control. Witnesses said that the local police inspector and other officials also rushed to the venue and defused the situation.Reacting to the incident, state BJP president Jitu Vaghani said that he condemns the incident and any attempts to silence the press.Gujarat Congress in-charge Ashok Gehlot also criticised the incidentRecording to be deletedCongress leader and former MP Vikram Madam asked the Zee journalists and production team to not only stop shooting of the talk show, but also demanded that the entire recording be deleted

Shaktisinh Gohil’s comment on Hardik, Sardar sparks row

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil’s comment about Patel reservation agitation leader Hardik Patel having Sardar Patel’s DNA has triggered angry protests at many places in the state. With less than a month to go to the assembly elections, the issue may snowball into a controversy.BJP members, on Tuesday, staged protests across several places in the state, including Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Gandhinagar, and Saurashtra, to protest Shaktisinh Gohil’s comment.In Ahmedabad, protests were organised at Khanpur, Maninagar, Nikol, among other areas, where protesters slammed Gohil for insulting Sardar Patel by comparing Hardik Patel with him. At many places, protesters burnt Congress and Gohil’s effigies. A large number of Patel community members also participated in the protests. “Hardik is clean, and has DNA of Sardar Patel,” the senior Congress MLA had said in Mehsana on Monday, hours after an alleged sex tape of Hardik Patel surfaced. However, he may not have imagined the kind of backlash his comment could lead to, especially after two more videos of Hardik Patel surfaced on Tuesday.Sardar’s kin, too, has criticised Gohil for the comment. In a video message circulated by BJP, Sardar Patel’s great-grandnephew Sameer Patel said that Gohil or any other Congress leader’s opinion about Sardar hardly matters as “such people should not be taken seriously”.”People like Hardik Patel are trying to encash Sardar’s name. Hardik is dividing the country, while Sardar worked to unite the country. There cannot be any comparison between the two,” he said while warning the Patidars against being misled by “Hardik and his ilk”.Speaking to DNA, Gohil, however, claimed that he had been quoted out of context. “I had said that Hardik comes from the same community as Sardar Patel. In the manner that Sardar fought against the British, Hardik is taking on the BJP government. There was no other comparison,” Gohil said.BJP leader Mansukh Mandaviya said comparing Hardik to Sardar Patel was an insult to the latter. “To say that a person caught in such a shameful act (sex video) has Sardar Patel’s DNA is an insult to Sardar. The Congress has had a tradition of insulting Sardar Patel,” he said.

This Hardik doesn’t have an easy time when Patel and Pandya trend on Twitter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, Hardik Patel, the Patidar leader was trending on Twitter because of a video, allegedly featuring him, sitting in close proximity with a woman. People immediately jumped to the conclusion that Patel was involved in a sex CD, and the trolling began.Most of the tweets were directed at @hardik, which unfortunately isn’t Patel’s Twitter handle. The @hardik handle belongs to Mumbai resident Hardik Shah, who put out a tweet on Tuesday. “PSA: Hardik Patel’s twitter handle is @HardikPatel_. Please tag him. Also Sex is really a fundamental right, so stop making a big deal about it. #bait.”While speaking to DNA, Shah said that the tweet would not make too much difference. “I don’t think that tweet will make a lot of difference – folks who tag me (mistakenly I guess) – probably do not understand how they should use Twitter. Besides – a lot of friends actually keep mentioning me just to pull my leg – so I typically play along. If you notice, I did put #bait out there – hoping no one will actually take it. I should have used #HardikPatel – but that would unleash the troll army on me.”Patel isn’t the only case of mistaken identity Shah faces. He was also trolled when cricketer Hardik Pandya underwent a radical transformation, and was a laughing stock because of his haircut.For his sake, we do hope that Shah doesn’t face that much of a brunt, but social media is a cruel place.

PAAS agrees on Congress’s formula, will discuss with community members

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) is convinced by the Congress formula of reservation. The PAAS core committee members held a meeting on Monday under the leadership of Hardik Patel in Gandhinagar and agreed to accept it. The PAAS will take the issue up with the community members.Hardik Patel, addressed a press conference in the evening revealing the agendas and discussion in the meeting. He said, “Congress has presented four formulas for reservation to Patel community and we are convinced. They had agreed upon the survey of the community and inclusion of community members in reservation quota. The party also ensured the constitutional stature to the reservation quota for Patel community to perpetuate it so that legal challenges can be avoided.””We will take up the issue with the members of our community, leaders of religious institutions and other reservation agitation groups like SPG. We all will sit together and decide upon the formula of the Congress and will come up on some final conclusion,” added Hardik Patel.Hardik, however, did not clarify if this meant political support to Congress for Gujarat polls or not. He said, “We are not the member of any political party and do not wish to be part of any. Congress is seriously considering our demand that is why we are accepting their formula. While BJP exploited our community, they killed our youth and beat up our ladies. That is why we will always be in confrontation with the BJP when a political issue arises.”Meanwhile, the alleged sex video of Hardik Patel was revealed on social media and entire PAAS team also disucussed the issue during the meeting. The PAAS leader, however, said that they would not stop running their agitation against the BJP and will make their programmes more rigorous in the days to come.

Days after Hardik Patel’s premonition, alleged sex tape of Patel agitation leader surfaces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after Hardik Patel had a premonition that his opponents may release a sex tape to defame him, his apprehension has come true. A video has emerged online on Monday which shows a man with resemblance to Hardik Patel in compromising position with a woman. The Patel agitation leader has denied that it’s him in the video and has accused BJP of hatching a plot to defame him. The video was uploaded on YouTube but it has been taken down subsequently. The video was reportedly shot on May 16 earlier this year.The 10-minute video, which went viral on social media on Monday afternoon, shows a male bearing close resemblance to Hardik Patel sharing some private moments with a female in a hotel room. Incidentally, Hardik was attending the core committee meeting of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) in Gandhinagar when the video became viral.Talking with reporters after stepping out of the meeting, Hardik said, “I have said earlier too that such allegations are going to be made (ahead of polls). Our core committee was meeting today to decide (on Congress’s proposals offering reservation to Patidars). This is just the beginning. This is election time. Our agitation is going strong. Winds of changes are sweeping Gujarat, and such allegations will be made.”He also tweeted: It roughly translates as, ” Now filthy politics is being down.It’s one thing to defame me, but women of Gujarat are being defamed here’. Dismissing the video as a political stunt, the Patidar quota stir leader said that BJP members will make even worse attempts to defame him going ahead. He alleged that the video was made in Bangkok, and vowed to take necessary legal steps. He also said that he would continue to fight for the Patidar community and the state, and was not going to be discouraged by such attempts.DNA can’t independently vouch for the authenticity of the video. It remains to be seen if the video hurts Hardik Patel politically as Gujarat elections are barely three weeks away. Hardik Patel has indicated supporting Congress to defeat BJP, though a final decision is yet to be taken.

Congress fell into own reservation trap: Nitin Patel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Patel said that the Congress was caught in its own trap that they had set up for the Patel community in Gujarat in the name of reservation.He said that the Congress did not offer the PAAS a formula, but just promised to form a commission that the BJP had already done.Patel was addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad on the completion of the first day of the party’s parliamentary board meeting. He said, “Their party in-charge Ashok Gehlot said that they put an offer before PAAS and the ball was in the court of agitation group. That shows that they could not cater to the demand of the Patel community for reservation. One of my friend in Congress informed me that PAAS was offered the commission for EBC and 10 per cent separate reservation for EBC above the total reserved quota of 50 per cent. This shows that Congress has fallen in its own trap.””Congress also knew from the very beginning that it was not possible to give reservation beyond 50 per cent and that is why they offered the same formula to Patel community that we had proposed, and PAAS leaders including Hardik Patel did not accept. Now PAAS and Hardik Patel should reveal what they were offered by Congress. Was it a quota or something else that could benefit them,” added Patel.Taking a dig at the Hardik Patel-led PAAS, he said that they had gone to meet Congress leaders with crackers, which they would burst if Congress gave them reservation but returned empty handed. He also cast aspersions on Hardik’s silence over the conclusion of the meeting and alleged that the entire exercise was aimed at fooling the community.

Congress yet to decide on Hardik Patel seats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress top brass, while finalising names of around 80 candidates for the Gujarat Assembly polls on Friday, kept most of Patel dominated seats out of the ambit of the decision as no final word is yet out on its arrangement with Patidar leader Hardik Patel.There were some issues with regard to candidates on four seats seats and hence, they were not finalised, sources said. The names that were deliberated were single names on the Assembly seats and which came before the CEC after deliberations and scrutiny at the level of the screening committee and below. The party had also got independent feedback about the candidates.Emerging after the meeting, Gujarat Congress chief Bharat Singh Solanki said that the first list of party candidates will be declared on November 16. A source in the party said the Congress would like the BJP to declare its candidates first as a section in the party believes that given the complex web of social arithmetic at play in Gujarat polls this time, such a strategy will help it name its candidates take on the BJP candidates.Congress is trying do a balancing act between its old Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim (KHAM) with its newly-cultivated association with Patels, who have under Hardik Patel’s leader protested against the BJP government in the state over the issue of reservation for them.Hardik Patel has asked for a categorical response from Congress on Patidar reservation issue.

Hardik Patel’s critic eyeing BJP ticket from Unjha constituency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mehsana-based developer RP Patel, who had come down heavily on Patel reservation stir leader Hardik Patel last week, is believed to be eyeing a ticket from BJP from the Unjha seat in Mehsana.Patel, convener of Patidar Organisation Committee with representatives from six influential Patidar organisations, had accused the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor Hardik of turning the Patidar reservation agitation into a “Private reservation agitation”.However, insiders say the attack on Hardik could be driven by his own political ambitions. Sources in the BJP as well as the Patidar community informed that Patel is seeking a ticket from BJP for contesting from Unjha assembly consituency in the upcoming elections. The seat is presently represented by Naran Lallu Patel, a five-time MLA.RP Patel could not be reached for a comment despite several attempts.Incidentally, Surat district collector MS Patel is also believed to be eyeing a ticket from the BJP for contesting the elections from Unjha. A promotee IAS officer, Patel is a native of Unjha, and is keen to contest the elections.At the November 1 press conference, RP Patel had clearly denied that he would be contesting the elections.”There are many people in our community who are interested in contesting elections. However, I personally am not,” he had said.At the press conference, he had accused Hardik and others of leading the community’s youths down the wrong path, “Some misled youths are misusing the Patidar community’s name for personal gains.”While coming down heavily on the Congress for “misleading the Patidar community for electoral gains”, Patel had also defended the state government saying it had already accepted the community’s key demands about withdrawal of court cases against Patidars, giving jobs to kin of dead Patel youths, granting reservation benefits, among others.

Hardik Patel’s critic is claimant for BJP ticket from Unjha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mehsana-based developer RP Patel, who had come down heavily on Patel reservation stir leader Hardik Patel last week, is believed to be eyeing a ticket from the BJP from the Unjha seat in Mehsana district.Patel, who is convener of Patidar Organisation Committee, which has representatives from six highly influential Patidar organisations, had accused the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor Hardik of turning the Patidar reservation agitation into a “Private reservation agitation”.However, insiders say that the attack on Hardik could be driven by his own political ambitions. Sources in the BJP as well as the Patidar community informed that Patel is seeking a ticket from BJP for contesting from Unjha Assembly consituency in the upcoming elections. The seat is presently represented by Naran Lallu Patel, a five-time MLA.RP Patel could not be reached for a comment despite several attempts. However, at the November 1 press conference, he had clearly denied that he would be contesting the elections.”There are many people in our community who are interested in contesting elections. However, I personally am not,” he had said.At the press conference, he had accused Hardik and others of leading the community’s youths on the wrong path, “Some misled youths are misusing the Patidar community’s name for personal gains.”While coming down heavily on the Congress for “misleading the Patidar community for electoral gains”, Patel had also defended the state government saying that it had already accepted the community’s key demands about withdrawal of court cases against Patidars, giving jobs to kin of dead Patel youths, granting reservation benefits, among others.

Not joining Congress, says Jignesh Mevani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Putting to rest reports of Congress’s overtures to him, Jignesh Mevani on Thursday said that he was not joining the party. The firebrand Dalit leader, though said he is ready for a discussion with top Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi.The convener of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch said, “I am not going to contest the polls either. The only thing we want is the Congress to clarify its stand on the 17 demands that we have made for Dalits.”Among the demands are allotment of five acres of farmland to each Dalit family, alternative employment to those involved in skinning of cattle and manual scavenging, and the release of a probe report into the firing on the community members at Thangadh in Surendranagar district in 2012. Mewani said the Bharatiya Janata Party has never responded to their demands. “We want the Congress to say what it is going to do if the Dalits were to support it. I am open to talks with the Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi. But it will be an open meeting and not a secret one.”The 34-year-old, a lawyer by training, came under the spotlight after four Dalit youth were stripped and flogged by cow vigilantes for skinning a dead bovine last year. Mevani had managed to galvanise the Dalit youth to lead huge protests across the state. In the past year, Mevani has emerged as someone whom political parties cannot afford to ignore, particularly ahead of the assembly elections. Gujarat goes to polls in two phases on December 9 and 14.BJP has been in power in the state since 1995.To a question on why the demands of Dalits were not a matter of concern for political parties, Mevani said it will soon become one. “Let us first wait for what the Congress has to say. If the parties continue to ignore the demand we will restart the agitation.” At the height of the Dalit agitation, Mevani said, BJP had promised to look into the demands. “In the meeting that we had with home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja after Dalits threatened a rail roko agitation, he said he will look into the demands. We haven’t heard from him or the BJP since then.”Mevani, other backward caste leader Alpesh Thakor, and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader Hardik Patel are being seen as game changers in the upcoming state polls. The equation changed after Thakor joined the Congress with his supporters and reports emerged of a secret meeting between Hardik Patel and Congress leaders.His demandsFulfill promises made to Una victims, including govt jobs, BPL cards and trial of the accused in a fast-track court.Farmland for Dalits who have left the job of skinning dead animals or want to quit it. Compensation for those cleaning manholes as they have been forced to work under inhuman conditions

Hardik Patel: Will back Congress if demands are fulfilled

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to quell the accusations against him of turning the ongoing Patidar reservation agitation into a private stir, Hardik Patel, leader of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) said on Thursday that he will extend support to the Congress in the upcoming elections if their demands are met.”If the Congress takes steps to support our demand for reservation for Patidars, we will either, directly or indirectly, support the party in the upcoming elections,” Hardik said. However, he further clarified that he was not going to join any party for the next two-and-a-half years.Hardik’s statement about the conditional support to Congress comes less than a week after he had asked the party to clarify its stand on how it will provide reservation to Patidars.Hardik had even warned of protests during Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Surat, but that warning was withdrawn after a meeting between Congress leaders and PAAS representatives.On Wednesday, RP Patel, convener of Patidar Organisation Committee, an organisation of six influential Patidar bodies, had accused Hardik of misusing the community’s name for personal gains. He had also said that the state government had already accepted the community’s various demands, and accused the Congress of reaching out to the community only to gain favour in the upcoming elections.Hardik, who has been travelling extensively in the state over the past few weeks, told a news channel that he is asking the Patel community to vote BJP out of power. He has also made his political stand very clear on social media.”Our vote for the BJP to make Narendra Modi the prime minister has proven to be an utter failure and destructive,” Hardik wrote on Twitter on Thursday.— with Agency inputs

DNA Morning Must Reads | Gujarat polls; Hardik Patel; Indian soldier court-martialed and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. EC Blows The Poll Bugle: Gujarat’s Game Of Thrones Officially Begins1. The model code of conduct, which prohibits announcements that can influence the electorate, has come into force in Gujarat where 89 constituencies in 19 districts will go to the polls on December 9. Polling for the rest 93 constituencies in 14 districts will take place on December 14. Read here2. Amid Taj Mahal row, Yogi Adityanath arrives in Agra, first BJP CM of UP to visit ‘monument of love’​Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath arrived in Agra on Thursday to visit the Taj Mahal. His trip assumes significance as it comes close on the heels of various controversial statements made by BJP leaders and ministers regarding the status of the 17th century monument in India’s culture. Read more3. After non-bailable warrant, Hardik Patel says ‘ready to surrender’Hardik Patel, the influential Patidar leader, has offered to surrender before the Gujarat Police after a local court issued non-bailable warrant against him. Read here4. Indian Army court-martials soldier who strayed across LoC during surgical strikesChandu Babulal Chavan, the Indian Army soldier who crossed the Line of Control during the surgical strikes, was court-martialed on Wednesday. Read here5. Railway Min’s New Year gift to Mumbai, 1st AC local on Jan 1Railways minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said Mumbai would get its first air-conditioned local train on January 1. Read here6. Texas girl death: She had no eating problem, says orphanage owner in IndiaThe owner of a now-closed orphanage in India where a young girl was living before a Texas couple adopted her last year says the child had no difficulty eating despite her adoptive father’s account to police when reporting her missing. Read here

After non-bailable warrant, Hardik Patel says ‘ready to surrender’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hardik Patel, the influential Patidar leader, has offered to surrender before the Gujarat Police after a local court issued non-bailable warrant against him.According to an NDTV report, the 24-year-old said, ‘I am ready to surrender if police wants to arrest me.’The remark came after a non-bailable warrant was issued against Hardik Patel for not appearing in a case of ransacking the office of local MLA by Visnagar Court on Wednesday.Apart from him, warrant was also issued against another leader Lalji Patel in the 2016 case.The situation may get worse for the Patidar leader as the model code of conduct has come into effect and there is now no way that the criminal cases against Patel community youths can be withdrawn.According to sources in the Home department, there are 72 cases against Patidar youths, including sedition cases against Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel and nine of his colleagues, related to the violence that took place during their quota protest rally on August 25, 2015.

Hardik Patel making ‘acidic’ statements in election rallies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel has become more aggressive against BJP ruled Gujarat government after his secret meeting with Rahul Gandhi in Ahmedabad on Monday. Hardik held rallies in Mandal town of Ahmedabad district on Monday night and Kalavad in Jamnagar on Tuesday. He made acidic statements against BJP leaders inciting his community. Hardik did not keep his language in control and abused BJP leaders.Addressing the gathering at Mandal, Hardik said, “These BJP people are bastards and we do not want them in any case now. Let us take the resolution that we would remove them from power in upcoming elections. These are the people who have killed 14 youths of our community. On their behest, police constables pissed in houses of our community in front of our daughters and mothers. Do we need this type of people in power again? No. If we do not want to tolerate this nonsense anymore, we all need to be united.””You can see that BJP has always tried to create divide in our community. They are trying to create a split among Patel community members. We need to always remember that we all are brothers and will not let BJP to do that. They are making false allegations on me that I am Congress agent but I do not wish to contest polls nor I wish to hold any position. My aim is to work for community and its pride. I want to see that youth in Patel community does not remain unemployeed,” added Patel.Meanhwile it is learnt that Hardik Patel had closed door meeting with Rahul Gandhi. A leader of PAAS on condition of anonymity said, “Hardik and Rahul Gandhi had met at Hotel Taj. It was just a formal meeting and we hope that another round of meeting also would take place in future.”POLL HEATHardik held rallies in Mandal town of Ahmedabad district on Monday night and Kalavad in Jamnagar on Tuesday.
Let us take the resolution that we would remove them from power in upcoming elections. These are the people who have killed 14 youths of our community, Hardik said.

Rahul-Hardik’s alleged secretly meet | Congress can invite terrorists like Hafiz Saeed as well: Gujarat Dy CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid rumours of a secret meeting between Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and Patidar leader Hardik Patel, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister has said that the grand-old-party could even invite terrorists like Hafiz Saeed as well.Congress would even send an invitation to terrorists like Hafiz Saeed if it feels they can help them form the government in Gujarat, Nitin Patel was quoted as saying by ANI.According to reports, Hardik Patel had reportedly met Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders for about 40 minutes at The Ummed Hotel in Ahmedabad on Monday.However, Patidar leader Dinesh Patel said Rahul Gandhi will meet with Hardik Patel in November, and has not met him as has been reported.Congress leader Ashok Gehlot categorically denied that any such meeting took place between the two. In a series of Tweets, he had said that he met Hardik Patel and Jignesh Mevani in Ummed Hotel.Eyeing Patidar votes, the Congress is trying to get support from their leaders to counter the BJP in Gujarat, where they had been in power since 1995.Earlier, Hardik had turned down the Congress’ invitation to fight the Gujarat Assembly election jointly, saying the polls were not a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Congress fight.Meanwhile, Nikhil Sawani, who resigned from BJP, met Rahul and discussed ways to provide justice to the Patidar community and support for their agitation in Gujarat.

‘I was offered Rs 1 crore to join BJP’, claims Hardik Patel’s aide Narendra Patel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sensational claim, quota spearhead Hardik Patel’s aide has alleged that he was offered Rs one crore for crossing over to the BJP.Patel has made the claim amid key aides – Varun Patel and Reshma Patel – have joined the ruling BJP in poll-bound Gujarat in a dramatic turn of events, after state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki invited Hardik Patel to join hands with the party.”I was offered Rs 1 crore to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. I have already been given Rs 10 lakh advance,” said Patidar leader Narendra Patel.Narendra Patel also said that he doesn’t want the money and he had joined the agitation for the Patidar community. “The Rs 10 lakh given to me were not earned by hard work and I will be returning it to them,” he saidPatel claimed that Varun Patel took him to a meeting where it was discussed that he will be given Rs 1 crore and received the money from the former’s hands.Varun Patel and Reshma Patel were among the prominent faces of the Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and remained critical of the ruling BJP during the agitation.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.After joining the BJP, the Patidar leaders alleged that Hardik Patel had become a ‘Congress agent’ and was trying to use the agitation to overthrow the present state government..However, unfazed by the announcement of his key aides, Hardik Patel said in a tweet he that will continue to fight for the people.”The centipede will continue to run even if some of his legs break. People are with me, and I will continue to fight for them,” he said.

Gujarat government may make more announcement after cabinet meeting on Sunday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government is going to hold a cabinet meeting on Sunday. This is likely to be the last cabinet meeting of this government before polls as the election commission may announce the dates in the week after Diwali.The state government is likely to make big announcements after this meeting.The sources in the government said, “The government is going to make many big announcements for mass before Diwali taking elections into consideration. This would be about government employees, women, young entreprenuers, health and education sector and for farmers also.””It is also possible that the government may take a decision to withdraw the sedition case against PAAS leader Hardik Patel and his colleagues,” added sources.The cabinet meeting could not be held in the last two weeks as the CM, Deputy CM and almost all ministers were enanged in BJP’s Gujarat Gaurav Yatra and other poll related affairs.

Guj forms body for general communities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With elections likely to be announced very soon, the Gujarat government is leaving no stone unturned to woo all segments. On Tuesday, the state government announced formation of a commission for non reserved category communities that inudes 58 communities in state. Besides the commission, a Corporation for Educational and Economic Welfare of Non-reserved Communities is also formed by the government.State home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja said that formation of the commission will benefit about 58 communities, which do not get benefits of reservation.The commission will frame policies for welfare of the communities while the corporation will execute those policies. The commission will conduct surveys of the economic and social status of non-reserved communities and will accordingly recommend policies to the state.The state has earmarked Rs 100 crore as the corporation’s share capital, and also allocated a further Rs 500 crore to it, to be used for disbursal of loans to beneficiaries. The corporation will give loans to beneficiaries under this commission, for purposes like study, business, farming, cattle rearing and other professional activities.”The decision to set up the corporation was taken by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in the last cabinet meeting, which took place after the government’s meeting with leaders of Patel community,” said Jadeja.The corporation will become operational soon. It will conduct surveys on economic and social status of non-reserved communities and will accordingly made policy recommendations to the state government.Beneficiaries will get loans for purposes such as education, business, farming, cattle rearing, among others from the corporation.The corporation will be headed by non-politicians, and will also include a member secretary, joint secretary and four other members.Not enough, says HardikDespite the announcement, PAAS leader Hardik Patel said his agitation would continue. “This is not enough for the welfare of non-reserved communities. Earlier, Anandiben Patel had announced Mukhyamantri Yuva Swavlamban Yojana for upper castes which had a budget of Rs 1,100 crore in the first year. This is a lollipop by the Gujarat government. Our fight will carry on.”

Cases lodged against Patels to be withdrawn: State

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides announcing the commission for non- reserved category on Tuesday, the state government also said it will withdraw all cases lodged against those agitating for reservation.Minister of state for home Pradipsinh Jadeja made this announcement but did not made it clear on how many cases would be withdrawn and the nature of their seriousness. He also did not specify whether sedition case against Patidar Anamat Aandolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel and others would be withdrawn or not.”The Deputy CM during meeting with Patel community and PAAS last Tuesday had made it clear that criminal cases will be withdrawn against Patel community members. We will withdraw all cases, once we get the assurance from them that the atmosphere in state will not be disturbed anymore. Such 109 cases have been withdrawn so far,” the minister said.Following Patel’s August 26, 2015 rally in Ahmedabad, wide-spread incidents of violence were reported from across the state and the agitators were booked under different criminal cases. Later, police also lodged a sedition case against Hardik Patel and nine others for fiery speeches at different places.The Patel community had alleged that police forcefully entered the houses, ransacked those and set the vehicles afire besides beating the occupants in the aftermath of the rally. PAAS had also demanded that cops or officials involved in the violence should be punished.”Out of four demands put before government by PAAS, one more has been satisfied with the announcement of the commission. We aim at quick and positive solution to the issues raised by Patel community,” Jadeja added.As per the terms and reference of the probe commission, it would accept the complaint and can summon anyone for inquiry, if it feels necessary. The commission would submit probe report to government in six months.Reacting to this, PAAS leader Hardik Patel, said, “I doubt the objective of the government. They have set the term of six months for commission for investigation. By that time, Assembly polls in Gujarat would be over and the issue will be shelved again, if BJP wins the poll.”PANEL TO PROBE ATROCITYGovernment has formed a commission led by former Gujarat HC judge justice KA Puj to probe into the allegation of police atrocity on Patels in the aftermath of the 2015 rally. Gujarat State Human Rights Commission (GSHRC) member and retired district judge Mahendra H Shah will be the member of the commission.

PAAS insists reservation, state offers Commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat government proposed the commission of non-reserved communities on Tuesday to Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel and his colleages during a truce talk held in Gandhinagar. The government, Hardik Patel and his colleagues from PAAS, the Sardar Patel Group (SPG), and leaders from religious and social institutions of Patel community sit down together to settle the issue. However, Hardik and his colleagues were not fully convinced with the proposition and but agreed to soften their stand against government on the Patidar reservation issue.Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Cabinet minister Chiman Sapariya and minister of State for Education Nanu Vanani represented the government, while over 120 leaders representing religious and social institutions of the Patel community took part in the discussion that included agitation group members of PAAS and SPG leader Lalji Patel.The meeting lasted for three hours. “As per the resolution formula,” Nitin Patel said, “the state government will propose formation of commission for non-reserved communities and a probe commission to investigate police atrocity cases against members of the Patel community during the agitation period. Moreover, all the criminal cases against Patel will be withdrawn.”The leaders of Patel community will help the victims of agitation get the higher compensation and jobs.”Even as Nitin Patel was making this announcement, volunteers of PAAS including their leader Dinesh Bambhaniya, started hooting and sloganeering, “BJP Haay Haay,” and police had to escort them out of the hall. Hardik Patel termed this meeting as inconclusive. “The meeting concluded in peaceful atmosphere but it did not bear any result,” said Hardik Patel. “Our demand of reservation has been subsided by government. We are however hopeful that government has accepted our other long-pending demands. Though these seem like poll promises, we expect more from government.”The Gujarat government will propose formation of two commissions in a cabinet meeting to be held on Wednesday and the proposition will be cleared today too.WHAT HARDIK SAIDThe meeting concluded in peaceful atmosphere but it did not bear any result
Our demand of reservation has been subsided by government We are however hopeful that government has accepted our other long-pending demands

Eye on polls: Guj govt to meet Patidars

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP-led Gujarat government is all set to meet Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel for truce talks on September 26. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel told media persons on Thursday that the government will soon be extending an invitation to Hardik and his colleagues and other leaders of the Patel community for the meeting.The gesture holds significance as Assembly elections in the state could be announced in a month and the government will want to reach out and pacify the Patel community which has been at loggerheads with the BJP government on the issue of reservation.“Hardik Patel wrote a letter to the CM on July 28, requesting him to hold a meeting in the presence of the heads of religious and social institutions of the Patel community. The CM has agreed to have this meeting on September 26. BJP’s Gujarat chief Jitu Vaghani and I will also attend the meeting, which will discuss the community’s demands.”In his letter, Hardik had demanded that the state government form a commission for upper castes, similar to that for the OBCs, SCs and STs. Apart from seeking a withdrawal of all the cases against PAAS activists, he had also demanded that the dependents of those who lost their lives during the Patel quota agitation should be given government jobs and action be taken against policemen who fired and lathicharged Patel youths.Sources said the government is expected to seek an assurance from Hardik to end the agitation.“We agree to constitute a commission for upper castes and will also seriously consider their other demands,” said the deputy CM.However, Hardik said he had not received any invitation.“We are going to send invitations to Hardik, PAAS and SPG leaders and heads of religious institutions run by Patel community, such as Umiya mata Dham at Unjha, Ahmedabad and Sidsar Umiya Dham, Khodaldham-Kagwad, Sardar Dham, and other leaders of the community,” the deputy CM said.

Two buses torched in Surat after police lathi-charge, detain Patidar protesters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two civic transport buses were set on fire by unidentified protesters in the Patidar-dominated Kapodra area of Surat this evening, police said.The incident took place after the city police detained some people, allegedly associated with the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), the Patel quota agitation body led by Hardik Patel, as they tried to stage protest at Saurashtra Bhavan against BJP leader Rutvij Patel’s programme.The protesters pelted stones at the police, said Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma.”Some persons created ruckus at the venue and also threw stones at police. They even torched two buses at Hirabaug circle. Luckily, no one was injured. The situation is now under control in Kapodra area as well as rest of the city,” he said.To bring the situation under control, police used lathi-charge and also detained around 10 persons, said a control room official.”The ruckus was created by 6 to 7 persons. Otherwise, the entire Patel community is with us,” said Rutvij Patel, president of state BJP’s youth wing.In a late night release, Hardik Patel claimed that his organisation had asked the police not to allow any program in the Patidar-dominated areas of the city.He also claimed that the protest was peaceful but the police used lathi-charge for no reason.

Quota issue: PAAS, SPG for talks with Gujarat govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Sunday said the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and Sardar Patel Group (SPG) have agreed to sit with the government for truce talks again.Both the groups have been demanding reservation for the Patidar community, which is a major votebank of the BJP. An imprint of the agitation by the Patel community in December 2015 was clearly visible in the results of the local government body polls where the BJP lost.Nitin Patel, who is also the chairman of the committee formed by the Gujarat government for truce talks with agitating groups, made the announcement in Mehsana on Sunday.Patel said, “Both PAAS and SPG have agreed to reach a compromise with the government, who are serious on their demands including jobs to the dependents of those who lost their lives in the quota agitation. We will also look into the demand of the withdrawal of all cases against protesters.”None of the leaders of the PAAS or SPG could be reached for a comment. Interestingly, the development comes when the BJP National President Amit Shah has arrived in Gujarat. Ten days ago, PAAS convenor Hardik Patel had written to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani that they are ready for talks if their demands are met.

Surat court issues arrest warrant against Hardik Patel for failing to appear for hearing in sedition case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A court in Surat issued an arrest warrant against Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel for not appearing for the hearing of a sedition case against him today.District judge Geeta Gopi issued a bailable arrest warrant against Hardik after he failed to appear for the consecutive second time.His lawyer Yashwant Vala said Hardik could not come because he was busy meeting members of the Patel community in Ahmedabad after a programme, scheduled for today, could not be held.Bright students from the community were to be felicitated at the programme, but it had to be cancelled at the last moment, he said, seeking exemption for his client.Government pleader Nayan Sukhadwala pressed for a warrant against Hardik, pointing out that the Patel leader had failed to appear before the court for a second time.The court issued a bailable warrant against him, posting the matter for hearing to September 4.The court had rejected Hardik’s discharge application in the case on June 30.The Surat police registered a case of sedition under the Indian Penal Code against Hardik in 2015 after he allegedly exhorted a fellow activist to “kill policemen instead of committing suicide”.Ahmedabad police too registered a sedition case against him and five others for allegedly inciting Patel youths to resort to violence, in order to destabilise the government.

No immediate plan to join hands with Vaghela: Hardik Patel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel today said he has no immediate plans to plunge into electoral politics in his home state Gujarat or strike an alliance with Shankarsinh Vaghela who quit the Congress. Patel said he will continue to focus on raising issues concerning his community and the agriculture sector and that he would take a call on fighting polls at an appropriate time. “Right now, I have no plans to contest elections. I neither have any political intentions, nor do I represent any party. I’m just fighting for the cause of society and the farm sector,” Patel told reporters here. Assembly polls in Gujarat state are due later this year. Asked how he viewed Vaghela’s move, Patel said the decision of the 77-year-old leader to quit the Congress was right considering his age. Patel said he neither has any plans to forge an alliance with Vaghela nor has he held talks with the Kshatriya strongman about it. Vaghela had yesterday announced that he was quitting the Congress amid speculations that he may float a political front by roping in parties and social outfits outside the Congress and the BJP. On the death of five farmers in a police firing at Mandsaur, he said that just like in Gujarat, the voice of farmers was being muzzled in Madhya Pradesh as well. Talking about his visits to the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, he said, “Come what may, but I will keep visiting MP. In the next few months, I will come and address farmers’ meeting at Gwalior and other places in the state. Do whatever you want.” Patel demanded that farm loans be waived across the country and cultivators given pension after they attain the age of 50. He also wanted a national commission to study farmers’ issues to be set up. The Patidar leader sought withdrawal of criminal cases lodged against farmers in Mandsaur and Neemuch districts during the farmers’ stir last month. Patel claimed he had not visited MP ahead of farmers’ stir but his name was falsely being linked to it, alleging a BJP leader was behind it.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

2 Indian-Americans plead guilty in US call centre scam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two Indian-Americans today pleaded guilty to the charges of their involvement in a massive telephone impersonation fraud and money laundering scheme in the US perpetrated by India-based call centres. Bhavesh Patel, 47, from Arizona and Asmitaben Patel, 34, from Illinois pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering offenses, the Department of Justice said. Sentencing dates are pending. A total of eleven defendants have pleaded guilty thus far in this case. Co-defendants Bharatkumar Patel, Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, Harsh Patel, Nilam Parikh, Hardik Patel, Rajubhai Patel, Viraj Patel, Dilipkumar A Patel and Fahad Ali previously pleaded guilty on various dates between April and June. According to admissions made in connection with their respective pleas, Bhavesh, Asmitaben and their co-conspirators perpetrated a complex scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad, impersonated officials from the IRS and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and engaged in other telephone call scams, in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the US. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators targeted US victims who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money. Upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the US to liquidate and launder the fraudulently-obtained funds, federal investigators alleged.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Patidar stir won’t affect our poll prospects: Gujarat CM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This time the target for the BJP is 150. What do you think will give the maximum edge to the BJP?There is a logic behind this. In 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won 71 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. This meant BJP was leading in 310 Vidhan Sabha constituencies in the state. The BJP won 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat which translated into 160 Vidhan Sabha seats. In UP assembly election this year, the BJP won 325 seats. So we are very confident of winning at least 150 in Gujarat.What is the big promise you will make to the people?Development will be the main plank. Development of all in all fields — agriculture, education, irrigation, health etc.What is the biggest challenge before you?For any government, there are problems. When you are done dealing with one, there will be another. But governments should have a positive approach. We shouldn’t be over-confident when dealing with challenges. The Opposition strategy is to create unrest in society. We have to focus on sab ke saath sab ka vikas. We have to bring everyone together.The Patidar reservation stir led by Hardik Patel has caused social unrest. And that too when it is believed that Patidars are traditional BJP voters. There have been protests against death of Ketan Patel allegedly in judicial custody. What will be the impact?The BJP received a blow in the panchayat elections. In the last one-and-a-half years, we won all the by-polls. The BJP performed better and in various sectors — places with OBC majority, Patidar majority. The BJP got over 75 per cent seats. The Congress did worse than last time while our seats increased. Before that sarpanch elections were there in which there were Patidars and Thakurs, and BJP still won 80 per cent. Before that there were Nagar Palika elections, in which the BJP won 118 of the 126 seats. We don’t believe this agitation will have any impact.Hardik Patel was arrested on way to Mandsaur. Don’t you think it was an over-reaction?Hardik went there to do politics. I will not be able to say about the situation in MP that called for the arrest.Will people vote for 13 years of (Narendra) Modi or one year of (Vijay) Rupani?In elections, Modiji will be crucial. As Chief Minister, he was popular among the people here. Now when he is Prime Minister, our seats will increase. We will keep alive the faith that people entrust in him and face the elections in which Modiji will be the centre point… He will definitely campaign in Gujarat.The Opposition has started demanding farm loan waiver, after UP and Maharashtra. Do you think the UP govt’s decision has stirred a hornet’s nest?The Opposition wants to rake up some issue. It’s like ‘jal bin machli’. Satta bin Congress is struggling for breath and raising whatever issue it gets.Will you go in for farm loan waiver in Gujarat?In Gujarat there are lot of schemes for farmers for the past several years, such as one per cent interest loan, rest of which the government is giving. We bought groundnuts and tur dal from farmers at MSP. The Narmada waters have been taken to Kutch. Whatever we can do for farmers we will do.Does that mean you could consider it?I said we will do whatever is necessary to help farmers.Do you think such a policy is good politics and bad economics?We believe that if the farmer is happy, the village is happy and if the village is happy, the towns and cities are happy. It’s our commitment that farmers should get the Minimum Support Price.This is the first election in around 15 years when Narendra Modi is not at the helm in Gujarat. Do you feel his absence? How does BJP plan to make up for it?I told you, he was then CM, but now he is PM. Our seats will increase further.Do you often take advice from Modi or does he offer advice?Why not. We do. His has been a great leadership. He worked here for several years. He has experience. We take advice from Amit Bhai (BJP president Amit Shah) also. We take from both. After I took over as chief minister, Modi has made eight-nine visits to Gujarat. When we meet he gives his “margdarshan (guidance).”What is the most crucial aspect of governance that you learnt from Modi?The four principals— being transparent, decisive, progressive and sensitive. These are the four on which our government is moving ahead. We took the inspiration from Modiji.How different will your campaign be from that of Modi’s?I can’t say how different it will be. In today’s time, there should be maximum use of technology. We will use that.You have made cow slaughter punishable by life imprisonment. What made you take that step?Prohibition and ban on cow slaughter are sensitive issues among us Gujaratis. These are also necessary for development. Liquor destroys the new generation and I have tightened laws. Same way, cow slaughter impacts the rural economy. The breed of good cows like Kakrej and Geer should increase and there should be more milk and at a good price. Cow helps the rural economy.You have said Congress should apologise for cow slaughter in Kerala after the Centre’s order banning sale of cattle for slaughtering from animal markets…What the Congress did was wrong. You cannot publicly slaughter a cow and sell it. It hurts Hindu sentiments. What Congress is doing is Vinash kale Vipreeta Buddhi.After Una, Dalit activists have become active. After Sahranpur, a committee Ambedkar Vechan Pratiband Samiti has embarked upon a state-wide rally from June 3.Its more in the media. Gujarat has taken the sternest action. The BJP also won in Una village. The UP polls were around the corner and the Opposition politicised it.There is an impression that BJP is a divided house because of relations between you and former chief minister Anandiben Patel.In Gujarat, the organisation and government are together. Anandiben resigned herself and proposed my name. It is the Congress which is divided. Past 15-20 days Congress has been giving bytes on Bapu. The divide is there, not here.Will Rupani be the face of the election later this year?We will fight the election under Modiji’s leadership. As for face, it will be whatever party decides.Gujarat is dominated by the trading community. How will you address GST concerns, particularly as it comes in election year?Gujarat has the highest registration of 5.5 lakh in GST. Seminars have been organised to create awareness among diamond, textile and gold traders etc. We will only benefit from it in the election.Cong is accusing the BJP of poaching its MLAs. Why does the BJP need Cong MLAs?We are not. They are not able to keep their flock together. This means something is happening on their side.You have launched a sewa setu…Ours is a pro-active government. We made clusters and reached out to 53 villagers in six months. Their demands were fulfilled on various things like ration card, health and pension. We have also taken steps for the poor. We have just started Rs ten meal shops for construction workers.Your focus has been a lot in tribals and youth….Will it help in weaning away the tribal seats from Congress?The Congress has already lost the tribals support. We will increase our seats. We have done a lot of work here and will do more.What would be your message to the people of Gujarat?I would like to tell the people of Gujarat that the state’s destiny changed under Modiji and now under him the country is progressing. Their support for him changed Gujarat and I appeal that they should continue to support him.

My work is to serve people, says Hardik Patel post-release

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Gujarat’s Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, who was detained by the police when he was heading to Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh to meet family members of those killed in the police firing during a farmers’ agitation, has been released. Talking to the media after his release, he said his work is to serve people and he is doing the same. ?The farmers should get the appropriate value of their crops. My duty is to work for the society and I am doing that. To maintain law and order in the state is Shivraj Singh Chouhan?s work, and, if he is not able to do that, then he should leave the government. He should have faith in his police force. Make good arrangements and make people meet,? he added. Patel was detained in Madhya Pradesh’s Neemuch district while en route to Mandsaur to meet the kin of farmers’ killed in police firing during an agitation. Hardik led a violent movement in Gujarat last year over a demand for quotas for Patidars. Mandsaur has become the epicenter of a farmers’ agitation over a demand for loan waivers and better prices for their produce. During the agitation, six farmers were gunned down by the police, thereby drawing criticism from political parties. The situation forced the district officials to impose Section 144, and restricted prominent personalities from visiting the violence-hit district. A number of political leaders, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, and social activists tried to visit Mandsaur, but the police didn’t let them enter the area. The curfew has been lifted from Mandsaur, but prohibitory orders remain. Meanwhile, the state government has issued a notification for the judicial probe of the Mandsaur violence. Retired Justice J.K. Jain will head the one member judicial commission. The single member commission will probe under what circumstances the farmers were killed in the agitation. The commission will also probe the action taken by the administration and police to control the situation was appropriate or not.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hardik Patel arrives in Udaipur, to leave for Mandsaur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel arrived in Udaipur today and said that he would leave for Mandsaur, the epicentre of the farmers’ stir in Madhya Pradesh, with his supporters tomorrow. He arrived in Udaipur from Gujarat by road to attend a private function. Gehrilal Dangi, the district president of Patel Navnirman Sena had yesterday said Hardik Patel has plans to leave for Mandsaur, but it is uncertain whether the administration allows him to do so. He said the Patidar community in Gujarat and Rajasthan stands in support of the Madhya Pradesh farmers. Asked about his plan to go to Mandsaur, Patel said he will go there tomorrow. “I will do my work and police and administration will do their job,” he told reporters when asked what if the police will prevent him from going to Mandsaur. Hardik, who had spent six months of exile in Udaipur after a Gujarat High Court order, had returned to his hometown in January this year. He was staying at a former Congress MLA’s house during this period He was released from jail in Gujarat after nine months in confinement in July last year. The Mandsaur-Neemuch region, about 300 km from Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, became the nerve centre of the storm of farmer distress, as protests over low prices for crops and heavy farm debts started on June 1 and snowballed into a widespread agitation. In Mandsaur, curfew was imposed after the five farmers were killed in two incidents of police firing during the protest on June 6.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sedition case: Hardik’s co-accused argues against framing of

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A court here today said it will hear the Gujarat government’s response on a plea not to frame charges against quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and three others in a sedition case as their petition seeking quashing of FIR is pending before the Supreme Court. Advocate B M Mangukiya, representing accused Dinesh Bambhaniya, submitted before the court of city and sessions judge S H Oza that since the petition seeking to quash the FIR against the four accused — Hardik, Chirag, Ketan and Dinesh — is being heard by the Supreme Court, judicial discipline requires that the lower court wait for the apex court order before framing of charges. The court said it will hear the government side’s in the matter and kept the hearing for Tuesday next week. The court is seeking to frame charges in the case of sedition against the four accused and begin trial against them. All four accused are out on bail granted to them by the high court. They were arrested in October 2015 and are facing similar charges under sedition and criminal conspiracy that were filed by Ahmedabad Crime Branch police. They have been charged with IPC sections 124(A) (sedition), 121 (A) (conspiracy to wage war against government) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy). They are accused of inciting the violence to mount pressure on the government for accepting the demand of reservations for the Patel community.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gujarat govt ready to form commission for Patel community

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an apparent bid to pacify the Patel community, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel today said the government is ready to form a commission to address its demands. The Patel (Patidar) community is agitating for quota under the OBC category for the last two years. However, Nitin Patel clarified that the government is not in favour of naming such commission as `Patidar Aayog’ as suggested by the Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS). “I want to reiterate that our government is ready to form a commission as demanded by them (PAAS). The matter has not moved forward because some people want it to be named as Patidar Aayog, while the government wants to give it another name,” the deputy CM told reporters in Gandhinagar. Earlier in the day, Hardik Patel alleged that Gujarat government was not serious about the community’s demands. “We never had any problem if the commission was not named Patidar Aayog. We will be happy if it is named Savarn Aayog to accommodate other castes….don’t delay the formation of Aayog by raising such minor issues,” said Hardik. “BJP government does not even know how that Aayog will work or how much funds it will require. They only announced it to pacify us before PM’s visit (on May 22 and 23). We are very much sure that government is not at all serious about forming such a commission,” claimed Hardik.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Video shows PAAS members firing in air during wedding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police have started an inquiry after a video showing some members of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) firing in air at a wedding attended by the quota agitation leader Hardik Patel went viral on social media. Hardik Kirtibhai Patel (not the quota agitation leader) filed a complaint in this regard at Viramgam police station in the district last evening. He submitted a video clip showing members of PAAS dancing and one of them, apparently drunk, firing in air from a revolver. It was the marriage of PAAS leader Hardik Patel’s cousin. Video also showed Hardik dancing on the occasion. “We are looking into a complaint seeking action against seven members of PAAS….the marriage took place on February 2,” said inspector Vishwarajsinh Jadeja. The complaint didn’t name Hardik, the officer clarified, though he was seen in the video. “We will first ascertain authenticity of the video, then will find out if the gun was a licenced one and who were the persons who fired it,” Jadeja said. Hardik is out on bail in two cases of sedition registered against him in Ahmedabad and Surat.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ruckus at BJP leader’s house: Hardik gets anticipatory bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A court here today granted pre- arrest bail to quota agitation leader Hardik Patel in a case of rioting outside the house of a BJP corporator. Hardik is one of the 60 accused in the case. He and seven others had moved the court of additional sessions judge M K Chauhan, seeking pre-arrest bail. The court granted bail to all of them, with a specific condition for Hardik that he shall not enter the limits of Ramol police station here where the case was registered. The court asked all the applicants to produce sureties of Rs 20,000 and deposit their passports. Ramol police registered an FIR on the complaint of BJP corporator from Vastral area, Paresh Patel, that a mob of some 60 people including Hardik created ruckus outside his house and torched a BJP flag last month. Hardik is already out on bail in two cases of sedition filed against him in Surat and Ahmedabad.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hardik Patel’s former aide to float party, contest Guj polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Quota agitation leader Hardik Patel’s former aide Chirag Patel today said he will float a political party and contest the Gujarat Assembly polls due later this year. In August last year, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) had suspended Chirag and another key leader Ketan Patel from the samiti after they alleged that Hardik used the agitation as a tool to satisfy his personal ambitions and became a “crorepati” within one year of the movement. Now, Chirag has announced to form a political party “to provide a better political alternative to BJP and Congress,” and achieve the goal of getting reservation for the Patel community under the OBC quota. He alleged that both the parties are “shying away from taking up the issues concerning the Patel community.” The Assembly polls in Gujarat are expected to be held later this year. According to Chirag, forming a political party is the only way to achieve the goal of getting reservation for the Patel community as well as to provide a solution to many other problems being faced by youth, women and farmers in the state. “Since some time, I have been holding meetings with people in different parts of the state. I realised that people are equally disappointed with the BJP and the Congress,” Chirag said. “Thus, I have decided to float a new party to give a better alternative,” he told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Inaction against Paricharak has exposed BJP’s double standards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leader of opposition in the Maharashtra legislative council Dhananjay Munde today accused BJP of adopting double standards when it came to taking action against independent MLC Prashant Paricharak for his alleged derogatory comments on war widows. Munde alleged that the party had different yardsticks — one for BJP backed MLC Paricharak and another for quota leader from Gujarat Hardik Patel. “Paricharak insulted the widows of soldiers, but there is no action against him. On the other hand, Hardik Patel faces eight months in jail for criticising Gujarat police. Hence, we decided to walk out of the legislative council,” Munde told reporters outside Vidhan Bhavan. The business of the upper house was adjourned for the rest of the day after the walkout. “We are demanding permanent suspension of Paricharak from the upper house because his statements have insulted widows of the soldiers,” Munde said. “Paricharak though won the upper house election as an independent is now working for BJP and also helped the party during various elections. “The state government is not taking any firm action against him. Our demand (for suspension of Paricharak) in the council was not addressed properly. Hence, we decided to walk out of the house,” Munde said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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