In a scathing attack, BJP MP Vitthal Radadiya said on Wednesday that Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel is “mentally unstable”.
Radadiya said Patel was trying to project himself as a “hero” of the Patel community from jail.
Radadiya’s remarks, who once worked as a mediator between Patel quota agitators and Gujarat government, came a day after Hardik termed him a “traitor”, saying Patidars did not need the Porbandar MP anymore.
Hardik’s close aide, Mahesh Savani, who met the PAAS convener in Lajpore Central Jail on Wednesday claimed that his remarks on Radadiya have been “misinterpreted” by the media.
“It seems Hardik has lost his mental balance in jail, that is why he talks such nonsense like a mad person. He was not consistent in his views and keeps changing his statements. I think he only wants to become a hero of the (Patel) community while being in jail,” said Radadiya, a prominent Patel leader of Saurashtra region.
“There was a time when he (Hardik) used to say that Vitthalbhai is a very respectable person. And suddenly, I have became a traitor to him. I don’t even want to see the face of such a person who has lost his mental balance and calls me a traitor. Otherwise, I am always with the community and will come forward whenever my services are needed,” he said.
Radadiya had earlier announced that his role as a mediator has come to an end in the wake of the state government carving out a 10% quota for the poor among unreserved category, including Patels. He added that the quota should be at least 20%.
Against the backdrop of Radadiya’s statement, Hardik had told mediapersons on Tuesday outside the Surat court that his community “does not want people who betray their own community. We don’t want Vitthal Radadiya”.
Radadiya also took umbrage at Hardik’s comments on politicians.
In a letter from Lajpore Central Jail, where he is lodged, Hardik recently asked Patidars to stay away from upcoming programmes organised by Shree Khodal Dham Trust if it invites political leaders who want to “break the unity of the community”.
Hardik alleged that the Trust, one of the prominent bodies of the community, is conniving with the government to create a rift among Patidars.
Radadiya asked Hardik to list the work he has done for the welfare of the community.