Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel has been at loggerheads with the BJP since the Patidar reservation agitation.
With Gujarat assembly elections round the corner, all national political parties are trying to make space for themselves by latching on to local leaders and issues to keep the voters on their side. Being the strongest critic of the BJP, Hardik Patel is being wooed by the Congress and attacked by the BJP leaders. The BJP leaders are out to unmask his ‘intentions of personal gains’ rather than fighting for his community at large.
To reduce electoral damage due to the anger of a sizable vote bank of the Patidar community, the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to fuel the ‘factionalism’ within the Patidar community, which has religious bodies-cum-community outfits having substantial sway over the devotees.
The major ones are the Umiya Mataji Sansthan Unjha; Khodaldham Kagvad, Rajkot; Sardardham, Ahmedabad; Vishwa Umiya Foundation, Ahmedabad; Samast Patidar Samaj, Surat; and Umiya Mata Sansthan Sidsar.
The BJP, which has been the main beneficiary of the Patidar votes till the last assembly elections, has prevailed over the Patidar organisations to speak against Hardik Patel and his organisation PAAS.
On November 1, six influential Patidar religious and social organisations whose leaders have joined hands to form the Patidar Core Committee (PCC), came out against Hardik and PAAS and accused him of fighting a personal battle for his own gains rather than for the benefit of the community.
To calm the nerves of the confused followers Hardik on Sunday came out strongly against those spreading false claims about friction with the community. In a tweet on Sunday, Hardik Patel wrote, (Translation) “Patidar Samaj has only two major factions in Gujarat, the Khodal Dham (Kagvad) and Umiya Dham (Unjha), which are our strength.”
The main reason behind this tweet is to defeat BJP’s plan to create confusion with the Patidar community and keeping the flock together for electoral impact and better bargaining power with the new government.
Khodaldham Trust representative Paresh Gajeri also gave a clarification and came out in support of Hardik saying, the Trust has not made any allegations against Hardik Patel.