Gujarat polls: Patidars accept Congress' quota formula, but will the courts agree?

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Patidar leader Hardik Patel Wednesday declared his support for the Congress in the Gujarat elections next month and said the opposition party had accepted his demand for reservation for the Patel community.

AHMEDABAD/NEW DELHI Legal experts today said the quota promised by the Congress to Hardik Patel for his Patidar community in poll-bound Gujarat may not pass judicial muster due to the 50 per cent cap even as the BJP dubbed the deal as a "big joke" and "mutual deception".

The party will bring in a legislation in the state Assembly on reservations for Patidars, Patel told the media in Ahmedabad.

"I didn't ask for ticket from congress and I am not joining the party".

He also said that there are no differences in Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) as have been reported in media and that the movement will continue with all strength and unity.The press conference was held in the backdrop of tension prevailing between the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti and the Congress over allocation of tickets for the Gujarat polls. "However, we are happy that a joint alliance will fight together against BJP and that the people of the state will finally see an end to BJP's 22-year rule", he said.

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The Patel leader said there were no differences with the Congress over seat-sharing.

Earlier in the day, Hardik said the formula mooted by the Congress for the community envisaged reservation for the Patels that would be over and above the quotas for the schedule castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes (OBCs). "BJP is trying to divide the Patidar community", he said. "Several horse trading attempts being made with our conveners in North Gujarat, Rs 50 lakh being offered", he said.

On the other hand, chairperson of the Unjha Umiyadham Trust, Vikram Patel, said Hardik was lying and no one from his organisation had been informed or spoken to on the issue.

Following the release of Congress' list of candidates, which includes only three PAAS candidates, infuriated leaders of the community staged protest.

The first list had triggered violent clashes between Congress and PAAS workers on Monday, with the latter taking a strong objection to the 77 names.

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