Election 2019


General Elections 2019: "BJP Scared Of 25-Year-Old, So Disrupting Events", Says Hardik Patel

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Hardik Patel said the BJP is worried about his popularity and that's why it kept disrupting his public meetings


General elections 2019: Hardik Patel claimed Patels will not support the BJP in the elections


Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel has questioned the BJP for giving a ticket to Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, who was charged in a terror case. "Sadhvi can fight despite the fact charges against her being very severe but I cannot. BJP made sure of that," Mr Patel said.

He said the BJP is worried about his popularity and that's why it kept disrupting his public meetings. His night meeting at Nikol in Ahmedabad was disrupted by some protestors on Saturday.

"They are scared of a 25-year-old, otherwise why would they keep targeting me? When I started to speak, some goons of the BJP came and started creating trouble," Mr Patel told NDTV.

Earlier on Saturday, the local administration denied permission for his helicopter landing at Meru Chokdi grounds in Ahmedabad East. "This is the third time this week when permission has been denied," Mr Patel said.

The Congress has given him a helicopter to do more rallies to sway votes in their favour. "When a helicopter lands, more people come to the sabhas (events) and they (BJP) does not want that, and that's why they give silly excuses to deny permission," Mr Patel said.

On Friday afternoon, he was slapped in one such event at Surendernagar. "Police probe shows he (accused) is close to a BJP leader. They are so disturbed by a 25-year-old man that they are using all sorts of tactics. It was not anger against me; anger was when the person who hit me was beaten by the crowd," he said.

Mr Patel said the BJP will pay the price of the slap when the results of the elections are announced as the Patel vote share would no longer would be with them.

"Hardik Patel has a good image. The government got a case registered against him. The Patels are angry for that reason and they will vote for Congress," said CJ Chavda, congress candidate from Gandhinagar.

Many in the party say the Congress has hit a jackpot when Mr Patel joined the party, but the BJP is also trying its best to retain the Patels' support.

The Patels constitute 21 per cent of the vote share in Gujarat. The BJP has given tickets to six Patel candidates - that's 23.7 per cent of the 26 seats. The Congress is wooing them by giving them eight seats, which is 30.76 per cent of the total seats.

"We have voted BJP for the last 30 years. Why would we like to cut the tree which is giving us shelter?" says Nishit Patel, a businessman.

"Patels are very religious and proud Indians. Hardik is a popular leader but when it comes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi there is no choice," says Amaresh Patel, another businessman in Ghatlodiya area in Gandhinagar.

In 2014, Gujarat saw 64 per cent turnout and the BJP got 60 per cent of votes, while the Congress got 34 per cent.

"In Congress, a candidate fights election while in BJP it's the party that fights elections. The odds are still in favour of BJP in Gujarat, and the PM is trying his best to connect to Gujarati pride and sway voters," said a senior bureaucrat who also is a supporter of PM Modi.

Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections. Election results will be out on May 23.

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