Jamnagar : Seeking to court the Patel community, a section of which is up in arms against Gujarat’s BJP government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday invoked Sardar Patel’s legacy as he took his campaign through Patidar dominated areas of Saurashtra region in the poll-bound state.
Hitting out at the BJP on the second day of his three-day tour, Gandhi accused the state government of perpetrating atrocities on the members of the Patel community during their quota stir.
On his arrival at Dhrol town enroute to Rajkot, Gandhi even wore the signature ‘Patidar cap’, with the slogan “Jai Sardar-Jai Patidar” emblazoned on it, given to him members of the ‘Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), an organisation of politically influential Patel community led by Hardik Patel.
“It was you (the Patel community) who gave the country Sardar Patel. But the BJP government committed atrocities on you. Bullets were also fired on Patels. This is not the style of Congress. We believe in moving ahead by keeping all the communities together,” said Gandhi.
At Falla village in Jamnagar, people greeted him with the slogan ‘Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar’. Many in the crowd wore caps with the slogan.
Interestingly, Gandhi’s assault on the saffron party came on a day when the state government invited quota stir leaders and representatives of other communities to the state capital to try and reach a compromise formula to mollify them ahead of the Assembly polls due later this year.
A large number of PAAS members, along with others, gathered at Dhrol to listen to Gandhi.
Gandhi paid brief visits to several villages and towns having concentration of Patels. The Congress vice president was greeted by Hardik Patel as he began his campaign on Monday.