Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel’s supporter slaps Hardik Patel

The assailant BJP worker was thrashed by the audience and removed from the venue

Photo by Ravi Choudhary/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Ravi Choudhary/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Political Bureau

A BJP worker close to Gujarat’s Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who slapped Patidar youth leader Hardik Patel while he was addressing a public meeting in Surendranagar district on April 19 (Friday), was thrashed by the crowd which had come to listen to the iconic pro-quota stir leader.

Patel was addressing his ‘Jan Aakrosh Sabha’ at Baldana village when a man identified as Tarun Gajjar from Kadi town in north Gujarat climbed up the stage and slapped him.

An angry Gajjar was heard saying that Hardik was playing politics over the death of 14 Patidar youngsters killed in 2015 during the agitation for reservations by the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti.

Gajjar is a BJP worker and is known to be close to Gujarat’s Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.

Supporters of Hardik Patel overpowered Gajjar, thrashed him and removed him from the venue. Hardik Patel, who later lodged a complaint at the Wadhvan Police Station, alleged, “This was the handiwork of the BJP, and the party may someday send someone to shoot me but our fight will continue.”

Patel, who had launched the pro-quota agitation in 2015 demanding reservation in jobs and higher education for the Patidar community youth, joined the Congress last month and has been campaigning for the party.

He has been allotted a helicopter by the Congress to tour Gujarat and hold election rallies. Hardik’s helicopter could not land in Lunawada in central Gujarat when the farmer, Vinay Patel, on whose field the helicopter was to land refused permission. Hardik later travelled by road to Lunawada, some 100 km from Ahmedabad, to address his election rally.

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