BJP has come down heavily on the Congress as well its new ally patidaar community leader Hardik Patel accusing them of seeking refuge in casteism. The ruling party also made light of the Congress alliance saying it has “outsourced” campaign to caste leaders.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani dismissed any threat to the BJP’s poll prospects from the Congress-Hardik Patel tie-up.
The Congress is seeking to upset the BJP in Prime Minister Modi’s home state by stitching an alliance of popular youth leaders – Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mewani and Alpesh Thakor. While Thakor had joined Congress few weeks ago, Patel-led PAAS has worked out an alliance.
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, Rupani said attacking both Congress and Hardik Patel.
“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.
Patel had last year led a massive protest against state government over the issue of reservation for Patel sub-community under the OBC category.
Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley too opened an attack saying that reservation formula agreed upon by the Congress and Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel was constitutionally untenable.
“Whatever promised under that reservation formula prepared by them (Congress) is not possible as per the Constitution. Neither the Constitution nor the law permits it (reservation above 50 per cent). Both of them, those who promised it and those who accepted it, are cheating the people of Gujarat,” he said.
He also accused the Congress of dividing the society for political gains ahead of the Assembly polls next month.
“As the election is nearing, Congress is now trying to gain some ground by dividing the society. In a way, Congress has become dependent on those forces, which will bring nothing but anarchy. But, since the people of Gujarat saw such anarchy in the past (during the Congress rule), they will never go in that direction,” he said.
The 182-member Gujarat Assembly will go to the polls in two phases — on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 18.