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Congress wants 'big three' in Gujarat alliance

Congress wants 'big three' in Gujarat alliance

Not to be left behind in the race for Gujarat, the Congress appealed to Patidar leader Hardik Patel to join forces with the party against the BJP. This may have given a boost to the mega anti-BJP campaign in Gujarat on the one hand, but the fact that Patel lost two of his comrades to BJP also did not go unnotices, thus, sending out a strong message to the Congress.

"The Congress's "vijay yatra" has begun".

The Congress is out of power in Gujarat for 22 years.

Hardik Patel, the Patidar leader who spearheaded a prolonged agitation for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for people of his community, was rather tepid in his response to the Congress' invitation.

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti has been protesting against the ruling BJP-led government with demands of reservation for Patidar community. "We invite Hardik, PAAS workers, leaders and Patidaar community to come and join the Congress".

"Rahul Gandhi would be coming to our rally on October 23 and I will join the Congress party", Thakor said. "Rahul Gandhi must declare that he would provide reservation to Patidar community and how will he do that", she said. They all have given us a commitment that they will fulfill all our demands.

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Reacting to Solanki's statement, Hardik tweeted that he was not interested in contesting polls but wanted "justice and rights for our community". Mr Vasava had supported Congress in the Rajya Sabha elections held in August.

Both levelled allegations against each other for breaking the alliance.

In the Rajya Sabha polls, two NCP MLAs claimed to have voted for BJP candidate Balwantsinh Rajput despite their promise to back Ahmed Patel.

Alpesh Thakur joined the party assuring that Hardik will be working with the Congress to defeat BJP. He said: "If Congress supports our issues, we will support the party to the hilt".

The Congress also invited like-minded parties and leaders including Aam Aadmi Party and Chhotu Vasava, a tribal deader and JD (U) MLA.

To this, Kalsaria, the seniormost AAP leader in the state, said: "I am looking to fight from Mahuva seat as an Independent and get the Congress to leave that seat for me".