Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) on Sunday suspended two of his former associates for levelling “baseless allegations”, days after they accused him of using the quota stir as a “tool” to further his personal ambitions.
The announcement was made by Hardik after a meeting of all conveners of PAAS at Udaipur in Rajasthan on Sunday.
Hardik has temporarily moved his base to Rajasthan after the Gujarat High Court granted him bail last month in two cases of sedition on condition that he will stay out of Gujarat for six months.
“Ketan Patel and Chirag Patel had levelled baseless allegations against me. Thus, all the district conveners of PAAS today unanimously decided to suspend both of them from the quota body,” Hardik told media persons in Udaipur after the meeting concluded.
PAAS has issued a press release here stating the decision. Cracks developed in PAAS after Chirag and Ketan, once very close to Hardik, levelled a string of charges against him in an open letter on August 22.
The duo, who were among the founding conveners of PAAS, had alleged that Hardik used the stir as a tool to satisfy his ambition to emerge as a leader and that he has become a “crorepati” within one year of the movement that was launched to seek OBC quota for Patels in government jobs and education.
They alleged that Hardik’s “dictatorial style” has ruined the chances of getting reservation for Patels.
Hardik had already dismissed the allegations as “false”. On hearing their suspension from PAAS, Chirag and Ketan accused Hardik of taking arbitrary decisions.
“This is exactly what I have said in the letter, that Hardik will take such arbitrary decisions and try to eliminate those who are not in his good books. This is an unfair decision by Hardik and we will expose him by providing evidences against him whenever time comes,” said Ketan.
Furious after learning about his suspension, Chirag accused Hardik of misguiding Patel community by projecting himself as the only leader of PAAS. “PAAS is not Hardik’s personal estate. This decision of our suspension proves that our allegations were true. I want
to tell him that he is not the only leader of this stir. Only Patel community can take the decision of our suspension, and Hardik is not the community,” said Chirag.
Chirag and Ketan also remained in jail along with Hardik for almost eight months, as they were made co-accused in the sedition case in Ahmedabad following violence after PAAS rally on August 25, 2015.
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