Caught in ‘sex CD’ war, Hardik gets sup­port from Congress

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­ ▪

AHMED­ABAD:The so­cial me­dia war in the run-up to the De­cem­ber as­sem­bly elec­tions in Gujarat got murkier on Tues­day as a fresh set of videos show­ing Pati­dar leader Hardik Pa­tel with a woman went vi­ral.

The three clips sur­faced on Tues­day – au­then­tic­ity of which could not be ver­i­fied – re­port­edly show the 24-year-old Pati­dar quota cru­sader with a woman in a room. They are ac­com­pa­nied by two other men, al­legedly co-con­ven­ers of Pa­tel-led out­fit Pati­dar Ana­mat Aan­dolan Samiti (PAAS).

In the clips, recorded through a hid­den cam­era and dated May 22, all three men have their heads ton­sured. The al­leged get­to­gether hap­pened a day af­ter Nyay Ya­tra in Bo­tad when PAAS mem­bers ton­sured their heads in protest ahead of the visit of Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

On Mon­day, a video al­legedly show­ing Pa­tel (head not ton­sured) with an­other woman in a dif­fer­ent room had sur­faced.

Pa­tel on Mon­day has termed the clips “doc­tored” say­ing that he had shaved his head around the date shown in the video. He had also called it hand­i­work of the BJP. He was not avail­able for com­ments on Tues­day af­ter fresh videos sur­faced.

The videos sur­faced at the time when Pa­tel-led PAAS is hold­ing talks with the Congress in Gand­hi­na­gar on their reser­va­tion de­mand for Pati­dars.

Se­nior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had pro­posed a for­mula to meet Pa­tel’s de­mand, which, sources said, were ac­cept­able to Pati­dars.

Congress lead­ers backed Hardik. “He had ex­pressed the pos­si­bil­ity in ad­vance that such fake videos would sur­face,” said Congress’s Gujarat in-charge Ashok Gehlot, adding, “Hardik is ca­pa­ble of putting his de­fence.”

Congress na­tional spokesper­son Shak­tis­inh Go­hil said Hardik has “DNA of Sar­dar Pa­tel” and the episode has ex­posed a “poor mind­set” of the BJP.

The remarks trig­gered protests by the BJP in some parts of the state.

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