CONGRESS TALKING TO HARDIK, JIGNESH FOR SUPPORT IN GUJARAT
lence against the Dalits in the state.
“People in the Congress are holding talks with him on a regular basis. The response is positive. We are hopeful of something fruitful from our meetings with him,” sources told this reporter.
Mewani was in the forefront of the agitation against the flogging of a Dalit man in Una last year. He was on Wednesday detained by the police when he was protesting against alleged atrocities on Dalits, in front of the state secretariat in Gandhinagar.
The Congress hopes that if Mewani intensifies his protests, while declaring support for the Congress, the party could make “law and order” an issue in the polls. The sources said, Congress is also banking on Hardik Patel to make a dent in the BJP’s Patel votes. The Patels have never been an ardent supporter of the grand old party. But the Congress high command is of the view that the BJP is in the back foot due to continued Patidar agitation and if Hardik lends it support, the party can make a serious bid at power, courtesy the Patidar votes.
“It can make a big difference. The Congress has sent feelers to Hardik Patel. If he supports us or joins us, we will have a strong shot at power in December when the state votes,” claimed a Congress source.
When asked about the overall strategy of the party in Gujarat, a source in the Congress confirmed that the party may adopt a very covert Hindutva line to counter the majority community’s consolidation behind the BJP as was seen in Uttar Pradesh.
“Rahul Gandhi’s much publicised temple visit was part of the overall strategy to send out ‘ certain feelers’ to the majority community, silently. The party may develop this strategy further,” the source explained.