Gandhinagar: The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which is spearheading the quota agitation in Gujarat, announced on Monday that it has accepted the Congress formula for assured reservation benefits to them under the Constitution. The announcement came from Hardik Patel, PAAS convenor, after a meeting of his core committee discussed the formula prepared for them by Congress legal eagle Kapil Sibal.
Hardik said that their own core group was of the opinion that the formula could guarantee reservation to Patidars within the ambit of the constitution. Though Hardik did not disclose the formula, he made it clear that PAAS would discuss it with leading lights of their community, their religious institution heads and the Sardar Patel Group (SPG) before deciding on extending open support to Congress for the ensuing polls.
This development comes in the backdrop of an attempt to muddy the political waters with the release of a sex video, alleged to be that of Hardik; the Patidar samiti responded to the diatribe with a counter claim that the fake video was a handiwork of the BJP and intended to derail the reservation agitation. Hardik, had almost a week ago, indicated that such a move was afoot.
In fact, a similar sex video, purportedly of Hardik, had been floated last year, too, but failed to gain traction. This seems a repeat act for obvious political reasons. However, some PAAS leaders, who recently joined the BJP, sought to charge Hardik with misleading the Patidar youth with pipe dreams.
Hardik said that the photograph was morphed and alleged that the fake video was made in Bangkok; he also said that within a week he would come out with proof to establish that he was elsewhere at the time and the date shown in the video.
Though Rahul Gandhi did not refer to the video episode, he said that the BJP was trying to silence the voice of the young leaders by hook or by crook. “Even the mighty British tried to suppress the voice of two leaders from Gujarat during the freedom struggle – Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel – but never succeeded and had to leave India,” he added.