Ahmedabad: In Viramgam, father of jailed Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel, Bharatbhai, was a busy man on Sunday when elections to district and taluka panchayats were held across the state.
Bharatbhai, his wife Ushaben and daughter, Monica, cast their votes and returned home where members of the Patidar (Patel) community kept visiting them the whole day.
Besides chatting with guests, Bharatbhai also attended to the continuous phone calls through which he was getting updates from across the state on how Patidars had voted.
“The results (of the civic polls) on December 2 will teach the BJP a lesson about the place of Patidars in the state’s politics,” Bharatbhai said.
“It will give an idea of Patidars’ anger over lodging of false complaints against 25,000 youths. It’s not only Patidars but government employees and other communities too who are not happy with the BJP,” he said.
Most top leaders of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) are currently behind bars. Hence, other PAAS leaders exhorted members of their community to come out and vote in large numbers. However, the confusion about whether to support the Congress or back the strongest candidate against the ruling party remained till the last day.
In north Gujarat -especially in Visnagar town where violence first broke out during the quota stir -Patidar turnout was huge. Many voters were vocal about defeating the ruling party. Eighty five year-old Kankuben Patel said: “It is necessary to vote to defeat the BJP. “However, many held a dif ferent view. MI Patel, retired principal of MN College, Visnagar, said, “If Patidars feel they can beat the BJP single-handedly, they are wrong. This is not possible.”
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