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Congress wants 'big three' in Gujarat alliance

Congress wants 'big three' in Gujarat allianceā€

Quota spearhead Hardik Patel's key aides - Varun Patel and Reshma Patel - have joined the ruling BJP in poll-bound Gujarat in a dramatic turn of events.

According to Reshma's Twitter page, she had written a letter to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on October 6 asking him to clarify his party's stand on granting reservation under OBC quota to Patidars.

The Congress received a boost on Saturday ahead of the Gujarat Assembly polls, with backward class leader Alpesh Thakor announcing his decision to join the party, after a meeting with Rahul Gandhi.

He also said that he has to defeat BJP in Gujarat and will campaign against them.

In another development, Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor met Rahul in Delhi on Saturday.

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The last Congress government in Gujarat was led by Chhabildas Mehta from February 17, 1994 to March 13, 1995.

The party is also reaching out to the 24 year old Hardik Patel who is leading the stir for reservation in jobs and education for the influential Patidar community. The Congress has given both Mr Patel and Mr Mevani an open invitation to join the party. I now hear that they are ready to join hands with the Congress. The Congress says that it is confident of bagging the support of Patel. The Congress also invited like-minded parties and leaders including Aam Aadmi Party and Chhotu Vasava, a tribal deader and JD (U) MLA close to Sharad Yadav. The constitutional amendment bill, however, could not be passed as the Congress stalled it in the Rajya Sabha, following its passage in the Lok Sabha. I can not contest elections myself because of constitutional provisions, nor do I want. However, Hardik said that he will continue to fight till he has public support. "Though initially, we had refused, if they agree with the Congress on issues, we have not closed our doors", Solanki said.

After joining the BJP, Patidar leaders told reporters that Hardik had become a "Congress agent" and was trying to use the agitation to overthrow the present state government.

For the past couple of years the three leaders from Patidar, OBC and Dalit communities have influenced the state politics, drawing huge crowds.



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