Congress's poll ticket offer to fiery Gujarat trio gets mixed response

Gujarat Pradesh Congress committee president Bharatsinh Solanki at a press conference on Saturday

Gujarat Pradesh Congress committee president Bharatsinh Solanki at a press conference on Saturday

Patidar movement leader Hardik Patel's key aides- Reshma and Varun Patel have joined the BJP.

Solanki expressed confidence that the party would easily win over 125 seats in the 182-member House with the "support and blessings" of all these leaders.

While Modi will inaugurate a slew of developmental projects before the model code of conduct kicks in, Rahul will undertake the third phase of his yatra during November 1-3, Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said. "Whether I will contest the polls for Congress or join the party will be jointly decided by Dalit organisations and leaders in the state".

Thakore, meanwhile, said he and his supporters would formally join the Congress at a massive rally in Gandhinagar on Monday. "We are also ready to give him a ticket if he wants to fight elections in the future", Solanki said.

The Congress is trying to get Dalit rights campaigner and lawyer Jignesh Mevani on board too.

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However, speaking to ANI, Patel said that he could not contest elections because of his age, but agreed with the Congress to unite against the BJP.

The Congress also invited like-minded parties and leaders including Aam Aadmi Party and Chhotu Vasava, a tribal deader and JD (U) MLA. As BJP failed to win over Hardik Patel, it successfully drove a wedge in his camp. "We stand by our proposal of keeping 49 per cent reservations for OBC, SC/ST intact and passing a resolution in the Assembly once in power to provide for 20 per cent reservations to other communities", he had said.

Apart from these leaders, the Congress also hinted at forging a pre-poll alliance with Sharad Pawar's NCP. He said the people have only two options - the BJP or Congress. I can not contest elections myself because of constitutional provisions, nor do I want. Technically, Hardik Patel can not contest elections as he is underage.

The party is also confident of securing the support of Hardik Patel, the 24-year-old leader leading the influential Patidar community's stir for reservation in education and jobs.

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