Hardik Patel Has a “Naxalite Approach”, Says Ashwin Patel
Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Ashwin Patel told The Quint that Hardik Patel’s entire team was used to taking unfair advantage of women. Patel also said that Hardik, who is “characterless”, has a “Naxalite approach”.
Hardik Patel had dismissed the row over the purported sex tapes of him, claiming that the tapes were just “dirty politics” ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections. The 24-year-old leader of the Patidar agitation told ANI:
Another Video Surfaces
First an unverified video of Hardik and an unidentified woman in a room went viral. Less than 24 hours later, another video began to make the rounds, even as a storm brewed over the first. In the new footage, Hardik and a few others can purportedly be seen drinking in a hotel room. The video was allegedly shot on 22 May 2017, a day after Hardik had undertaken the Nyay Yatra in Hota.
On the day, Hardik Patel and 50 of his supporters got their heads tonsured to protest the alleged atrocities committed by the BJP government against the Patidar community. Hardik also led a 'march for justice' ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Gujarat, on 21 May this year.
They later embarked on a 'Nyay Yatra' from Botad district, to highlight their demands, including inclusion in the OBC category for reservation.
Hardik, who expressed apprehensions a few days ago that his opponents could release a sex tape to defame him, denied being the one caught on tape, and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of being behind it. “Now they have resorted to defame me. I don’t care. My focus is on the fight for farmers and youths,” Hardik told the Indian Express on 14 November.
The Convener of Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) Dinesh Bhambaniya told The Quint that BJP has stooped down to the level of personal politics. He questioned why a video, which was apparently recorded in May, has been put out now. These videos were fake, he said, adding that PAAS would lodge FIRs against those who have put them out.
Attacking PAAS leader Ashwin Patel, Bhambaniya said:
On the other hand, the BJP said that Hardik stands exposed before the Patidar community.
Meanwhile, the Congress has accused the BJP of resorting to character assassination ahead of the elections.
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Manish Doshi told The Quint, “BJP is a CD manufacturing factory. They don’t just go after their rivals they will even take down those within their fold who do not toe their line. They are afraid of losing power in Gujarat and are bound to take extreme measures. How are we concerned with a young man’s personal life? No woman has lodged a complaint against Hardik, so how is this a sex scandal? BJP doesn’t want to talk about farmers, inflation and unemployment. This is all that they are capable off.”
(This story has been updated.)