Congress leader and former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday accused the BJP of playing “a low level of politics by entering into the private life of individuals”, referring to the widely-circulated video clips of a man resembling Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel in the company of a woman.
“The BJP is now entering hotels and preparing video tapes so that they could know who is doing what and who is talking to whom…. The BJP is doing all this to conspire against individuals and has stooped to a very low level,” the Congress MP from Guna said. The BJP had claimed that Hardik had met Rahul Gandhi in a hotel during one of the Congress vice-president’s visits to the state.
Scindia accused the BJP of being behind “pelting of stones” on Rahul when he had visited flood-hit areas of the state in August. “Is this the culture of Gujarat? The people will give a befitting reply on December 9 and 14 to those who have put a blot on our culture,” said Scindia, who was in Ahmedabad as part of the party’s effort to engage with young voters ahead of the Assembly polls.
Another Congress leader, Sachin Pilot, who heads the party’s Rajasthan unit, was in Surat where he held a series of interactive sessions with the urban youth. He, too, slammed the BJP government for its “mishandling” of the Patidar quota agitation.
Replying to a question on “appeasement of certain communities by way of giving them reservation”, Pilot said: “In Rajasthan, we have seen that when reservation is given to different castes, it results in fighting, and many people have lost their lives. In the last few years, similar protests and movements have started in Gujarat, and it turned violent. The government should have talked to them (Patidar quota agitators) and tried to bring about a solution.
Dialogue was necessary. But in its place, the BJP government resorted to lathicharge and fired bullets on protesters… This was total injustice.” “The reason behind giving reservation is not a poverty liberation programme. It is given to socially backward and educationally poor sections of the society to bring them to the mainstream,” he added.
On the issue of Patidar reservation, Scinidia said, “Discussions with the leaders from PAAS over reservation are going on. Reservation for the community will be considered within the parameters of law. The Congress has never violated the law and will not go against the law.”
Pilot criticised the government’s implementation of the GST and said changes in the tax were made after pressure from the public and Opposition. “Had the GST been implemented with good intentions after taking into account all perspectives, people would have supported it,” he said.