'Patidar's fight was to attain OBC quota, not to make Congress win'

File pic of Hardik Patel

"Rahul Gandhi would be coming to our rally on October 23 and I will join the Congress party", Thakor said. "The (Gujarat) model which was highlighted to form the government at the Centre... you go and ask in Gujarat, where there are more than 7 lakh unemployed youths, where 74,000 farmers are indebted, where there is a ban on liquor but 10,000 to 15,000 people die every year because of alcohol, where the government education system has collapsed", he further added.

He also said that they do not want to become Congress agents.

Summary: As political temperature is soaring in poll bound Gujarat, party-switching has started.

Along with Solanki, the party's Gujarat in-charge, Ashok Gehlot, too attended the meeting of Thakor with Rahul.

Patel, Thakore and Mewani have led powerful campaigns against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government for their communities.

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Key Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leaders Varun Patel and Reshma Patel joined the BJP on Saturday in the presence of Deputy CM Nitin Patel, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja and state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani.

Replying to the Congress offer, Hardik Patel told India TV that "he is open to the officer but the Congress party should first explain how it will give 20 per cent reservation and fulfil our demands".

The Congress' attempt to set up a mega anti-BJP front in Gujarat began to take shape with the influential Patidar community leader Hardik Patel assuring his support to the proposed front saying - "We are anti-BJP, we will back Congress to defeat BJP". Technically, Hardik Patel can not contest elections as he is underage. Mr Vasava had supported Congress in the Rajya Sabha elections held in August.

To this, Kalsaria, the seniormost AAP leader in the state, said: "I am looking to fight from Mahuva seat as an Independent and get the Congress to leave that seat for me". The Patidar community leader said that it was time for a BJP-mukt Gujarat.

The Congress has also announced truck with the lone JD (U) legislator, Chhotubhai Vasava of the Sharad Yadav camp, who had helped the Congress in the Rajya Sabha polls by voting for Ahmed Patel.

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