- Hardik Patel claims BJP spying on him in Ahmedabad hotel
- BJP alleges Hardik Patel met secretly with Rahul Gandhi yesterday
- Will meet him in his next Gujarat visit, won't hide it: Hardik Patel
The BJP has alleged that contrary to his claims, Hardik Patel met secretly in the afternoon yesterday with Rahul Gandhi. Hardik Patel, however, says he met with senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot, who was staying at the same luxury hotel, and not with his boss. Ashok Gehlot says that the hotel's CCTV footage has been requisitioned by intel agencies which the hotel's staff has acknowledged.
That was done not at the BJP's instance, said Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel who claimed that security agencies may have "sanitized" the venue because Rahul Gandhi is a VVIP entitled to the highest level of protection.
Gujarat will choose its next government before December 18. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi have been attempting to lockdown voters with extensive campaigns.
Hardik Patel, over the last two years has assiduously galvanized the Patidars against the BJP, which for decades was their party of choice. The once prosperous community has dwindled to an onlooker in Gujarat because it has been excluded from affirmative action policies, Hardik Patel says, which has meant it is not part of the famous "Gujarat Model of Development" sold by the BJP as its main accomplishment during nearly two decades of uninterrupted charge of the state.
The high-wire act for Hardik Patel is centred on declaring the BJP as his community's enemy while avowing no formal affiliation with the Congress. The BJP alleges that Hardik Patel, who in 2015, led huge rallies against the BJP in Gujarat, can do little more than serve as the "B-team of the Congress." Not so, says Hardik Patel. At a public meeting yesterday, he said he is subscribing to the principle of "my enemy's enemy": "If BJP is a mahachor (super-conman), the Congress is a chor (conman). And if a chor's help is needed to trounce a mahachor, we will do that also."
"The BJP is Big Brother extraordinaire," he tweeted about the allegations of espionage at the luxury Ummed Hotel. He also reiterated the charge that an aide of his was paid 10 lakhs as the first instalment of a one-crore offer to join the BJP. His aide showed off the cash at a press conference on Sunday night. The BJP has denied the buyout.