Ahmedabad, Apr 19, 2019: Congress leader Hardik Patel was slapped by an unidentified man in Gujarat’s Surendranagar district on Friday while he was addressing a public rally. The incident soon snowballed into a political slugfest, with the Patidar leader accusing the BJP of attacking him.
“I can clearly see the BJP’s hand behind the attack. Otherwise, if anyone is dissatisfied with me, they can come to me for a dialogue. They can show me black flags but instead, a person attacked me and this is BJP’s modus operandi,” Patel told the media. Adding that the incident would not deter him, Patel also appealed to locals not to harm the man and instead forgive him.
Patel’s former aide and BJP leader Varun Patel condemned the incident, saying no leader should be subjected to such behaviour.
Dinesh Bambhaniya, a former aide of Hardik Patel, while talking to News18 said the incident took place because Hardik Patel joined the Congress, leaving behind the interests of the community for which he had launched the quota stir.
“Till Hardik Patel was community leader, no one had the guts to touch him. But since he joined the Congress, he has been facing the ire of the public. I do not know about the person who slapped him but Hardik is facing problems because he used the community as a stepping stone to make political gains,” Bambhaniya alleged.