Anticipating unsavoury developments to blunt their effectiveness is one of the key strengths of a politicians. The 23-year-old Patidar leader, Hardik Patel, seems to be possessing this gift. His apprehensions came true in the form of a hotel room video footage, being termed as ‘sex CD, that was played in front of the masala-thirsty public caught in the frenzy of the Gujarat assembly elections due for December 9 and 14.

It was on November 10 that Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti’s (PAAS) Hardik Patel came out with a revelation that his main opponent, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning to defame him using a fake CD. In a press meet, Hardik had said, “the BJP has prepared a doctored ‘sex CD’ to defame me and it will be released just before the election. What else can one expect from the BJP? So just wait, watch and enjoy.”

In the video a woman is seen with a man, resembling Hardik Patel. Responding to the Hardik Patel tweeted: “Now the dirty politics has started to defame me. It will not make any difference, but the women of Gujarat are being insulted.”

According to media reports, the said video of Hardik Patel with the woman was shot on May 16 this year.

In another tweet on the topic Hardik wrote, “Whoever has done it, I am not going to retreat. I’m going to fight for sure. Finally, 23-year-old Hardik is growing up now. Crores are being spent on defaming me.”

Though this is not the first time that Hardik’s alleged CD has surfaced. A similar episode had taken place immediately after the start of the reservation movement in 2015.

The latest video was supposedly uploaded by Ashwin Sankarsariya on YouTube. He claimed that he came to know about the video when he was in Bangkok. He also claims to have CDs of other PAAS leaders.

Further commenting on the CD, Hardik said, “I’d said this before that first, these people released Sanjay Joshi’s CD when he was on the rise. BJP has done this before and will continue doing this even in the future. The people of Gujarat need to be aware that these people can use any woman in their greed for power.”

The Patidar leader went on to say that he wasn least bothered by the allegations against him. “It would have been good if they’d fought me on the political turf.But it still makes no difference to me. The six-crore people of Gujarat are with me,” he said.

Hardik termed the fake CD as a direct interference in his personal life and that it amounted to invading his privacy, for which BJP is to be blamed. “Just a few days back, I told the media that such CDs will be circulated. This is just the beginning of dirty politics. I am sure that BJP people would circulate some more CDs because the man who did it recently joined the party in Delhi. But I am not worried at all about such tactics,” Hardik told reporters.

“This is a morphed clip and I will give evidence in the coming days to prove my innocence. The BJP wants to retain power by defaming me,” he said.

On the other hand, the BJP Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, “It is a shameful incident in public life. If the video clip is fake, Hardik Patel should approach police and file a complaint.” The minister categorically denied that BJP had anything to do with the CD.

However, Hardik found support from the Congress that  doubted the authenticity of the CD and said that the video appears to have been tampered with. “As the BJP is now staring at defeat, it has resorted to such dirty and shameless tricks. This video clip appears to have been tampered with. The people of Gujarat will avenge it,” said AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil.

Another young leader, Jignesh Mevani, who is a social activist fighting for Dalits’ rights, came out in support of Hardik Patel through a twitter post.