Gujarat Polls 2017: Patidars to hold rally in support of Hardik Patel despite denial of permission

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File photo of Hardik Patel
File photo of Hardik Patel

Gandhinagar : Ignoring denial of permission by the authorities, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) is determined to go ahead with its mega rally in Mansa town in Gandhinagar on Saturday evening to demonstrate the community's support to young leader Hardik Patel, despite the 'sex CDs' on him, - in a big worry for the ruling BJP.

PAAS leader Hardik Patel has said that in spite of the authorities denying them permission, they will be holding a massive 'prestige rally' in Mansa, showcasing the support the group has among the Patidar community.

Patel also claimed that they would "drop a bigger bomb" on the ruling BJP against the recent releases of CDs alleging a sex scandal against him. 

The Gandhinagar police have denied PAAS permission for the Adhikar Sabha rally, but PAAS is adamant to hold the event with or without police permission.

Mansa, about 41 km away from Ahmedabad, is the hometown of BJP national president Amit Shah. It is also the place from where the Patidar reservation demand and agitation had started in 2015.

After two years of agitation and witnessing many ups and downs, the PAAS has seen recent attacks on Patel over the "sex CDs" which have gone viral on social media. The CDs show Hardik's lookalike or allegedly him with a woman in compromising situation.

Alleging that the CDs are doctored and are the handiwork of the BJP, Hardik Patel has threatened to "drop a bigger bomb" on the issue at the rally in Mansa town. 

Through this rally he and the PAAS group also want to convey the message that the entire Patidar community is still with them in their demand for reservation for the Patidars.

The Congress has come out in support of Patel in the CD row. However, the talks between the party and the PAAS leaders in Delhi on Friday seemed to have suffered a setback with the group giving an ultimatum of 24 hours to resolve the reservation imbroglio. 

Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, too, has extended support to Patel. 

The rally in Mansa will be a big worry for the Gandhinagar district administration as they had earlier given permission for the rally. 

PAAS leader Atul Patel claimed that permission was cancelled on "flimsy grounds". "The authorities told us that if the meeting is allowed at the location decided by the PAAS, it could create enmity among communities and so the venue should be changed. This is not possible for us," Atul said. 

"Come what may, we are not going to change the rally location in Mansa," he added. 

Gandhinagar District Superintendent of Police (DSP) Virendra Yadav said: "We have not granted them permission. They want to hold it on the main road. During the election period, we discourage even political parties from holding functions on the main roads, which can cause traffic problems. We have asked them to find another place. If they do so, we can consider their demand for permission," he said.

"If they carry on with the rally without permission, legal action will be initiated," the police officer added.