More clips ‘exposing’ Hardik emerge
Patidar Leader Blames BJP, Threatens Suit; Cong Jumps To His Defence
Ahmedabad: Four more ‘intimate’ video clips, allegedly showing Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel and his aides consuming liquor and hanging out with a woman, have gone viral on social media. One of the four clips has become particularly controversial as it shows the Patidar youth leaders having a “good time” after getting their heads shaved in protest against the state government’s apathy towards Patidar ‘martyrs’ — killed in police action during the quota agitation. Fifty-one Patidars, including Hardik, had got their heads shaved in Botad on May 21.
The authenticity of the video clips is, however, yet to be verified.
Faced with growing criticism, Hardik blamed BJP for infringing on his privacy and threatened legal action. “They (BJP) love to peep into the personal lives of others. As their 22-year-old ‘vikas’ (development agenda) stands exposed, they are trying to expose a 23-year-old boy. I will consult my lawyers and file a complaint soon against perpetrators of this sex CD,” Hardik told TOI. He insisted that the “character assassination” would not adversely impact the Patidar agitation. “Even if I am a bad person, it does not have a bearing on our demand for quota,” he said.
Hardik found support from Gujarat’s young dalit leader Jignesh Mevani. “Dear Hardik Patel, don’t worry. I am with you. And right to sex is a fundamental right. No one has right to breach your privacy,” Mewani tweeted.
Meanwhile, Hardik’s former aide-turned-critic Chirag Patel said the quota cru- sader will lose the trust of the community due to the expose. “Hardik will no longer be welcome to stay in Patidar homes. Women will stay away from his rallies. Hardik’s claims that he has been framed by BJP will not cut any ice with the community,” Chirag told TOI.
Ketan Patel, another of Hardik’s close aides who recently turned approver against him in a sedition case, said the latter should call it quits now. “Hardik is clearly seen in the sex tape. He should confess his mistakes and leave the quota stir. The community will not tolerate such abhorrent acts,” Ketan told TOI.
Meanwhile, Congress went all out to defend Hardik. Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki, accusing the BJP of playing dirty politics, said, “Character assassination is an old tactic used by BJP.” Gujarat Congress poll in-charge Ashok Gehlot added, “Hardik had warned that BJP would try to malign his image. It is Hardik’s personal matter. We believe that no member of any political party should be defamed like this.”
Purvin Patel, spokesperson of another Patidar group, Sardar Patel Group (SPG), emphasised that the video clips would have no impact on the quota agitation. “If Hardik is pulled out from the stir, then some new face will replace him,” he said.