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Hardik Patel announces Congress agrees to give reservation to Patidars

Senior BJP leader and Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Wednesday hit back at Patidar leader Hardik Patel, saying that the latter is speaking the language of Congress.

Hardik had kept the Congress on the edge after postponing his media interaction twice in the last few days.

Congress said it would do so with the help of Article 46 and Article 31 (C) of the Indian Constitution, he said. Sibal thanked Hardik for declaring his support for Congress for the Gujarat polls and said their united fight would dethrone BJP. "BJP has only lollipop for Patidars", Mr. Patel said.

Hardik's support marks the success of the Congress' efforts to stitch together a broad opposition alliance after protests by PAAS and rebels this week marred the release of the first list of candidates.

Under the proposal, the influential Patels, traditional voters of the BJP, would get reservation in government jobs and educational institutions beyond the 49 per cent quotas for the SC, ST and OBCs. "We have not sought any tickets from the Congress. Dilip Sabva did not inform me about his nomination from Botad seat and he will withdraw his form".

In a strong comment on the Congress and Hardik Patel reaching a so-called pact on Patidar quota within OBC category for the upcoming elections, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made it clear, that the two sides can only mutually deceive each other.

Mr. Patel, however, refrained from pledging his support to Congress.

The "Vikas gando thayo chhe" campaign became a huge hit on social media and provided potent ammunition for PAAS and Congress to question the BJP's claims on development in Gujarat. On the 50 per cent reservation cap set by the Supreme Court, he said it is just a "suggestion" and nowhere in the Constitution is it written that reservation can not exceed the current limit. "In my opinion, this formula of reservation is a big joke", Patel told reporters in Ahmedabad. Hardik Patel during the press conference today said Patidars have accepted the formula given by the Congress party.

"First we have to fight elections and win".

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