A Visnagar court in Gujarat’s Mehsana district on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant against Patidar leader Hardik Patel in connection with the alleged ransacking of the office of an MLA in 2015. Hardik’s lawyer had sought exemption for his appearance but the plea was rejected by the court.
A case was booked against Patel and 17 others for creating a ruckus in the office of Visnagar MLA Rishikesh Patel during the protest rally of Patidar community demanding reservation under the OBC quota for their community. The warrant incidentally comes on a day when the Election Commission announced the dates for the upcoming Gujarat polls.
Hardik Patel, who is the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), was supposed to meet Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi earlier this week but the meeting was cancelled for unknown reasons. He has been offered a poll-ticket by the Congress though he is ineligible to contest as he is still not 25. “Bev Congress ane BJP masia bhai j che, BJP mahachor che to Congress chor che (Both Congress and BJP party are cousin brothers, if one is BJP big thief then congress is thief),” he had said.
Hardik, who speareheaded the Patidar quota agitation in Gujarat, was arrested in October 2015 for inciting violence during the agitation. He was also slapped with sedition charges and for damaging public property during the reservation rallies. The Gujarat High Court had barred his entry in Mehsana district until the trial in the case was completed. In its order, the High Court had also said that Hardik can seek modification to this condition after nine months and a local court at that time can pass appropriate order based on his conduct. Patel then moved an application in the Visnagar court, but was denied the permission to enter the district at that time.