Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel today said here that he would campaign against the ruling BJP in the coming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. After OBC leader and newly-elected Congress MLA Alpesh Thakore, Patel is another leader from Gujarat who has said he would play an active role in Madhya Pradesh politics. Thakore, earlier this week, had said he would unite OBCs in the state against the ruling party.
“I will be active in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, and campaign against the ruling BJP. I will visit MP many times. If someone has a problem with that, let them try and stop me,” Patel said, speaking to reporters here. He was here to attend a program organised by the Patidar community.
“I don’t care if someone doesn’t like my visits to Madhya Pradesh. I will continue to talk about farmers, employment to the youth and good education here.
“Attempts were made to stop me from coming to Madhya Pradesh. I was told don’t go there, or cases would be filed against you. They say my arrival would divide the society. Some people say you are coming to spread casteism. If talking about farmers and the youth is casteism….I wanted to do it,” he said.
Without naming the BJP, Patel further said, “Some people call the divisive politics of Hindus and Muslims as nationalism.” In a potshot at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Patel said, “Mama (as Chouhan is called) makes lofty promises. But this Mama is a taker and not a giver.
“Corruption in Madhya Pradesh goes on very silently. The Vyapam scam occurred in the state. Farmers were killed in police firing in Mandsaur. The government here doesn’t talk about the implementation of Swaminathan report (on farm reforms), and the state even failed to provide 27 per cent reservations to OBCs despite the Supreme Court’s directives,” he said.
He hasn’t been involved in the electoral politics as he is still 24 years old and can not contest elections yet, Patel said. In reply to a question about his meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Patel said, “I am meeting an Indian, not a terrorist.”
Asked about the Punjab National Bank scam, the Patidar leader said, “The BJP had promised to provide Rs 15 lakh to every citizen by bringing back black money. But with Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya and their ilk fleeing the country with the country’s money, it appears that people are supposed to give them Rs 15 lakh from one’s own account.”