Hardik Patel backs Congress after agreement on Patidar quota

Hardik Patel addresses a press Conference in Ahmedabad

Patidar leader Hardik Patel has confirmed that the Congress party had accepted 'our issues.' Speaking to media amidst speculations that he had fallen out with the Congress party, the young Patel leader said that the two sides agreed to give Patidars reservations.

"Their leaders have been making such statements which yet again reflected when someone said I will cut fingers". The law of the land is very clear and that is laid down by the Supreme Court and only last week in the Rajansthan case it has been reaffirmed that the 50 per cent cap can not be breached. The apex court called the limitation a "constitutional prohibition". An earlier formula proposed by the BJP, which gave 10% reservation to extremely backward classes (EBC) was struck down by the Gujarat high court because it violated the upper limit.

Article 31 (C) of the Constitution provides that for achieving equality in society, a state government can make a policy which enjoys immunity from judicial scrutiny even though it is in contravention of other constitutional provisions.

Gujarat now has 49 percent reservation comprising 7 percent for Scheduled Castes (SC), 15 percent for Scheduled Tribes (ST) and 27 percent for OBCs.

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.

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The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader said the Congress will include the extension of reservation benefit to Patidars in its election manifesto.

Patel said any quota in government jobs and educational institutions exceeding the 50% cap put by the Supreme Court is something "offered by fools and also accepted by fools".

Hardik however, said that they are not openly extending support to Congress, but since they are in fight with BJP, the support goes to Congress. He said, "We have never appealed to anyone to vote for Congress, but since they are talking about our rights, we leave it to people to decide". "BJP has always used Patidars for votes". Hardik, however, dodged a query about the late-night protest by his co-convener, Dinesh Bambhania, at the residence of Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki.

Three out of these four are PAAS nominees, who Hardik and his supporters have backed vociferously.

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