Has Hardik Patel joined hands with Congress in Gujarat? Here's all you need to know

Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti workers have clashed with Congress workers in Surat over the nomination list

And the drama continues! Gujarat assembly elections 2017 are drawing close, and ahead of the polls, the political theatrics in the state have intensified to a whole new level.  On one hand, the BJP vs Congress war has flooded social media, on the other hand, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti’s (PAAS) refusal to make a decision has kept the state Congress on its toes.

Late night drama

Late on Sunday evening, Congress spokesperson said that it had reached a consensus with PAAS, which has actively posed itself as an obstacle in the BJP-ruled state in recent times. Soon after, the party announced its list of 77 candidates for the polls that are slated to take place between December 9 and December 18, which included 19 members from various communities campaigning for quotas in government jobs and colleges. The list also included two of PAAS leader Hardik Patel’s closest aides– Lalit Vasoya and Nilesh Patel.

Hardik Patel

(Photo Courtesy: AP Photo)

However, no sooner had the party announced its candidature list that PAAS members attacked the Congress office in Surat alleging that the names of the two leaders had been included in the list without their consent. Following the clashes in Surat, the state Police deployed its forces near the Congress state headquarters Ahmedabad to avoid a similar situation. Check out the images here:

What does PAAS have to say?

Reacting to the incident, PAAS leader Dinesh Bhambhani threated to launch a state-wide protest against the Congress. “Congress announced the names without our permission. We will launch a state-wide agitation against the Congress,” he told the media, as reported by the NDTV.  Another PAAS leader, Dinesh Patel too opposed Congress. Check out the video here:

Also Read: Gujarat to have one ‘pink polling booth’ managed by women in each of its constituencies during Assembly elections

Ashok Gehlot

Ashok Gehlot (Photo: Express Archives)

The clashes in Surat drew a sharp reaction from the Congress National General Secretary Ashok Gehlot who said that the Patidars should show patience in dealing with the issue. Here’s what he told ANI:

I condemn this violence, Hardik Patel and his workers should show patience, issues can be sorted out by talking.

Also Read: What it takes to censor a BJP campaign ad in Gujarat. Hint: Pappu

Patel had earlier said that he was ready to join hands with Congress if the party reserved 27 percent quota in government jobs and educational institutions for his community. He has delivered several ultimatums to Congress regarding his demands over the past couple of weeks.