A week after he claimed that “the BJP will use a sex CD” to defame him, a video of man resembling Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel with an unknown woman in “what looks like a hotel room” went viral on Monday. Hardik has accused the BJP of resorting to “dirty politics” and dubbed the video a “morphed footage”. The ruling BJP denied any role in the controversy.
Reacting to the video, which was purportedly leaked on YouTube, Hardik tweeted: “This is the start of dirty politics. You can defame me, it makes no difference, but this is insulting women of Gujarat.” A few hours later, he added, “Anybody can do what they want to. I am not backing off. I will put up a tough fight. The 23-year-old Hardik is growing older. Several crores are being spent to defame me.”
Later speaking with The Indian Express, the convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti said that his “friends” in the BJP had warned him about such a video in the making. “I have close friends who are in the BJP. We may not have similar political views, but they are my friends. They told me that the BJP has planned to defame me and was filming a sex video with a young man who resembled me. Earlier, too, they had released a clip of a man with a foreigner woman, but this time they did not want to leave any doubt over the appearance of the man. So, they groomed the man to resemble me, trained him to have my gait and mannerism and then filmed this video.”
Hardik said that while he was becoming “used to the malice”, he was “sad” that a woman has been disrespected. “They used a woman to defame me like this. It is very sad. They have no respect for people. When an honest person like Sanjay Joshi (BJP leader) could be trapped in a fake sex scandal, I am only a young man.”
Hardik said that he is “amused” that the BJP is so “petrified” of his existence in the political sphere. He said, “They have ruled Gujarat for 22 years and I am not even eligible to contest the polls. But, saheb is so concerned about my presence that they have to resort to these cheap tricks to defame me. It does not matter. They are actually making me bigger than even I consider myself to be. But, I also know that in the coming days more such videos will emerge trying to malign other PAAS leaders too.”
Union Minister of Fertilisers and Chemicals Mansukh Mandaviya, on the other hand, that the BJP had nothing to do with the tape and instead targeted the Opposition Congress. “It is an insult to the dignity of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, of Gujarat, and of women by saying that the person shown in the video has Sardar Patel’s DNA,” he told The Indian Express. When pressed for a reply as to who is the person or on the content of the video, the minister said, “It so shameful that I cannot stoop so low as to describe the content of the CD.”
He said that if Hardik felt offended over the tape, he can file a police complaint. “I on behalf of the country condemn the incident, and the Congress should not indulge in such things… I praise the media that it has not showing the blacked out portion of the CD,” he said. He also denied that such maligning practice was initiated by the BJP against its own leaders in the past. He said people of Gujarat will never support such things and that the Congress should stop “frequently insulting Sardar Patel”.