Across Gujarat, the BJP on Tuesday protested against Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil by burning his effigies over his reported comment that Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel “has the DNA of Sardar Patel”. Gohil, who while defending Hardik after purported videos of him with a girl went viral, had reportedly said: “Every person has got the right of privacy. Hardik Patel is truly fighting for the injustice done to his community. He has not been purchased by the offer of crores of rupees of (BJP president) Amit Shah. He stayed in jail for months and did not get cowed down or broken. He has the DNA of Sardar Patel, who could not be bought over by the British.”
“Gujarat’s prestige and self-respect of Gujaratis have suffered because of the statement made by Shaktisinh Gohil,” said Ahmedabad city BJP president Jagdish Panchal while taking a part in the protest. In Surat, a section of Patidars joined BJP workers in the protest at Hirabaug in Varachha, Mota Varachha and Punagam.
Police detained several persons, who were later released. “We will not tolerate linking Hardik Patel, who is involved in a sex scandal, with Sardar Patel. Now if in future, Shaktisinh Gohil comes to Surat in any programme, we will protest against him,” said Dharmesh Bhalara, a local BJP worker.
In Rajkot, the BJP workers protested near the Rajkot Municipal Corporation office. No one was detained.
However, a protest planned by PAAS workers against the BJP for releasing the video against their leader Hardik, was foiled by the police, who detained 11 persons. Similarly, police foiled a protest by Prajapati community against Chief Minister Vijay Rupani for his alleged remarks against the community. Gohil, who was campaigning in Rajkot, said that he has been quoted out of context.