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My movement has full support of Keshubhai: Hardik Patel

"I have not asked for seats from the Congress, neither can I ask for seats as my fight is for quota," said Hardik.

Updated: Nov 23, 2017, 08.37 PM IST
"Charges and counter-charges are important. People level charges against me on this issue. In a way it feels good," Patel added.
"Charges and counter-charges are important. People level charges against me on this issue. In a way it feels good," Patel added.
AHMEDABAD: Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) head Hardik Patel has been facing an attack from BJP which says his understanding with Congress on quota Patels outside the 50 per cent limit is legally not tenable. He spoke to ET on the issue, his alliance with Congress, the equations with Rahul Gandhi, Alpesh Thakor and how defeating BJP is topmost on his agenda.

How do you think the quota for Patidars that Congress has promised you is feasible as there is a 50 per cent limit on reservations?
Hardik Patel:
I want to understand why it is not possible. Neither is it written in the Constitution nor is there any law. It is only the Supreme Court judgement and all judgements are of the nature that in every case a fresh judgement is given. If the intention is good then everything good can happen. Intention should be good.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said yesterday that one cannot go beyond the 50 per cent quota in reservations. Anything put under Article 31 (c) can come up for judicial review.
Hardik Patel:
Whenever a good law is made even it can be taken to court.

Deputy CM Nitinbhai Patel has said offer was made by fools and accepted by fools to fool the Patidars.
Hardik Patel:
He has called Patidars fools. Now these “fools” will show their foolishness in 2017 elections.

How many seats have you asked for from the Congress?
Hardik Patel:
I have not asked for seats from the Congress, neither can I ask for seats as my fight is for quota.

There is a charge that you are more interested in defeating BJP than getting quota for Patidars.
Hardik Patel:
Charges and counter-charges are important. People level charges against me on this issue. In a way it feels good. Reservation is the main issue but only a government can give that. Since they (BJP) are not giving quota it is important to defeat them and to install a government that gives us reservation.

Kshatriya Thakor and Patidar voters have been on different sides in the past. Can they join hands now?
Hardik Patel:
When has there been a conflict between them? We are all together.

So if there is a Thakor candidate will Patidars vote for him?
Hardik Patel:

It is being said that some of your team members are said to be in touch with BJP and may switch sides.
Hardik Patel:
No, I don’t think so.

You have said that from now on only you will make statements on behalf of PAAS.
Hardik Patel:
What is the problem in that? Many a times in excitement some people (in my team) say something and the media takes wrong cognisance of that.

Patidar has always supported BJP. Even Keshubhai had got limited success in weaning them away from BJP.
Hardik Patel:
Time will tell (how many Patidars oppose BJP)… Hardik will ensure complete success (in breaking Patidars away from BJP).

Does Hardik have a bigger following than Keshubhai?
Hardik Patel:
I cannot say that. He is a respected elder. I cannot be above him.

But Keshubhai is now not opposed to BJP.
Hardik Patel:
No, I do not think so. He left them long ago.

How much support does your movement have from Keshubhai?
Hardik Patel:
It has his full support.

You did not negotiate directly with Rahul Gandhi on the quota issue. You do not consider him a senior leader?
Hardik Patel: He is a senior leader but it is always good that our committee talks about these issues.

BJP leaders Anandiben and Nitinbhai Patel are also seeking Patidar support.
Hardik Patel:
It will become clear on December 18 (as to who has Patidar support).

Your opponents say you are too young to understand governance and politics.
Hardik Patel: Is that why when a 22 year old boy holds a press conference, the Deputy Chief Minister holds a press conference to counter it. So I am not that small.

Some purported CDs have come into the public domain. Has this dented your credibility and following? There has been some infighting in your camp.
Hardik Patel:
Nah. I have not faced any difficulty. BJP can keep doing its work, I will do my work.

Do you think Congress is in a strong enough position to defeat BJP.
Hardik Patel:
I am in a position where I can defeat BJP.

With Patidar support alone?
Hardik Patel:
Everything is possible.

What are the main issues for you in this election?
Hardik Patel:
Quota for Patidars, unemployment and kisan loan waiver.

How do you see 22 years of BJP rule?
Hardik Patel:
It has only been Dadagiri (strong arm politics).

What about development in Gujarat?
Hardik Patel:
It has only taken place in Ahmedabad. If you go to villages you will realise this.

Narendra Modi has said development has taken place in Gujarat since 2002. BJP is fighting polls in his name.
Hardik Patel:
People understand everything. When the time comes people will see.

BJP says the election is also about Gujarati pride as a Gujarati is Prime Minister and hence people should support it.
Hardik Patel:
There is no such issue. This is raked up time and again. But everybody is wise enough.

Also Read

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Hardik patel to take fight against BJP to UP

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