Ruling out any support to the ruling BJP, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samithi (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel on Tuesday said that his outfit will soon make its stand clear on which party it will back in the upcoming Assembly elections.
Hardik, who was in Surat to attend the court hearing in connection with a sedition case, said: “We will make our stand clear in the next few days about which party we will support. But we will not support the BJP. We will take consent from people through public meetings and on their views we will make our stand clear. We will announce the name of political party at the public meeting.”
Last month during a roadshow, Hardik had hinted at supporting the Congress. He had also welcomed Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during the latter’s visit to the state through a tweet.
Hardik’s comment comes on a day when the state government announced the name of former Gujarat High Court judge K A Puj as chairman of the two-member inquiry commission that will look into the alleged police atrocities during the 2015 crackdown on Patidar’s quota demand agitation.
Hitting out at the BJP, Hardik said that the party’s Gaurav Yatra has turned out to be a fiasco, “as people are not supporting BJP”.
He also announced that he will embark on a roadshow in Rajkot in a few weeks. The roadshow, which is likely to be held in the last week of October or first week of November, will take same route that was taken by Prime minister Narendra Modi in June.
“We are working hard for the preparations of our upcoming roadshow… We are expecting participation of over 10,000 motorbikes, 50,000 people and 1,500 cars. The Rajkot roadshow will be historical as a large number of people will come out on the road,” he added.
Meanwhile, around two dozen Patidar youths were detained by police in Savarkundla taluka of Amreli district as they protested against the BJP’s Gaurav Yatra. Dozens of Patidar youths and Congress workers had blocked the Savarkundla-Dhari road as the yatra’s convoy approached towards Nesadi village. The yatra was led by Union Minister Purushottam Rupala and Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani.
More drama ensued as women of the village tried to rush towards the route of the yatra to protest against the detention. “We detained a few womento prevent them from creating ruckus,” police said.