Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Tuesday told members of the Patidar community in Mumbai to unite to ensure the defeat of the BJP, which he claimed had committed atrocities against the community. “The community today needs to unite in Mumbai to show the BJP its place. It has committed numerous atrocities on our people in Gujarat. Our women have been slapped with murder charges. I had to stay away from the state for nearly a year because of their vendetta,” Patel said, while addressing a gathering of members of Mumbai’s Patidar community. Patel shared the dais with senior Sena leader and Industries Minister Subhash Desai.
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Patel, who met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray early on Tuesday morning, claimed that no political motive should be attributed to the meeting. He claimed that he was inspired by the political thoughts of Balasaheb Thackeray and had held telephonic conversations with Uddhav in the past as well. “For the welfare of my community, if I have to knock on any door I will do so. I am inspired by the political thoughts of the Thackerays. However, this meeting should not be seen through the prism of politics,” he said.
Patel, in his speech, also claimed that he was told to move out of the hotel where he was staying because former Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel had moved into the same hotel. The BJP, he alleged, had been hounding him and trying its best to scuttle his meetings and programmes. “The BJP always tries to scuttle my programmes. With them in power in Maharashtra they tried it here too. However, as a community we have to show them that we are as powerful here as we are in Gujarat,” Patel said.
Desai claimed with the Patidar community also joining hands with the Sena, the party would sail through in the BMC elections. “When the first BJP-led government came to power for a period of 13 days, we supported them. We have been supporting them ever since. However, when their so called ‘acche din’ came, they showed their true colours. With all sections of society backing us, the Sena will definitely come to power in Mumbai,” Desai said.