Hardik Patel Conducted 'Secret Meeting' With Congress Leaders, Anti-BJP Alliance On The Cards?

| October 24 , 2017 , 10:21 IST

Patidar leader Hardik Patel reportedly had a 'secret meeting' with Congress leaders at the Ummed hotel in Ahmedabad on Monday, adding fuel to speculations that the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener may join a broader anti-BJP alliance ahead of the impending high-stakes Gujarat elections.

Although reports suggested that Patel also met with Congress national Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Patel himself clarified that he met with AICC member in-charge of Gujarat, Ashok Gehlot, and Gujarat Congress President Bharatsinh Solanki.

"I have not met Rahul Gandhi, but I met Ashok Gehlot and Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki to discuss the issues affecting the Patidar community, including OBC quota," Patel said.

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"Had I met Rahul, I would have met him in public, which would give me more mileage. Why should I meet Rahul secretly?" he asked.

Gujarat Congress President Solanki confirmed Hardik Patel's statement.

"Hardik met me, Ashok Gehlot and other Congress leaders but not Rahul Gandhi. Though both were in the same hotel, they did not meet," said Solanki.

Several CCTV clips from the hotel showed that Hardik Patel had entered the same hotel where the Congress leaders were.

The BJP in Gujarat was dealt a double blow on Monday, as Patidar leader Narendra Patel claimed that he was offered Rs 1 crore to join the BJP and displayed Rs 10 lakh he said he had received from the party in advance. Hardik Patel's close aide Nikhil Savani also quit the BJP barely weeks after joining.

Watch below News World India's Exclusive Interview with Hardik Patel: