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Hardik Patel accuses BJP of spying, says will tell the world when he meets Rahul Gandhi

Patidar leader Hardik Patel admitted he was present at Ummed Hotel at the same time when Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi checked in, but denied meeting him.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2017 19:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,Hardik Patel,Congress
Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti convenor Hardik Patel tweeted on Tuesday that the BJP is “expert in spying”.(HT file)

Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Tuesday accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of spying on him after CCTV camera clips from a luxury hotel in Ahmedabad in poll-bound Gujarat were flashed on local television news channels amid speculations that he secretly met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.

The closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, which is available with the Hindustan Times, showed Patel entering the Ummed Hotel late on Sunday night, and leaving through the back door in a brand new car without a registration plate at around 4pm the next day. Gandhi arrived at the same establishment around 1pm on Monday.

The 24-year-old tweeted in Hindi that people in the BJP are “expert in spying” and gave the examples of Sanjay Joshi, a senior leader who resigned from a party post in 2005 after being named in a sex CD controversy. He also raked the issue of the snooping on a woman, whose phones were illegally taped in Gujarat and Bengaluru.

Patel on Monday admitted he was present at Ummed Hotel at the same time when Gandhi checked into the premises but denied meeting him.

“Main Rahul Gandhi ji se nahi mila, lekin jab milunga poore Hindustan ko bata ke jaunga!! Unke agle Gujarat daure par hum milenge!! Bharat Mata ki Jai (I did not meet Rahul Gandhiji but when I meet him I will let the entire country about it!! We will meet during his next visit to Gujarat!! Bharat Mata ki Jai),” he tweeted.

“Those who call me an agent of Congress are the agents of BJP themselves. It does not matter to me what the people of the BJP are saying.”

Gujarat Congress in-charge Ashok Gehlot also took a dig at the BJP government for the leak of CCTV camera footage in a series of tweets on Monday night.

“Had a good meeting with Hardik Patel and his colleagues. Glad to met with #HardikPatel, #AlpeshThakore and #JigneshMevani (sic),” Gehlot tweeted.

“I met Hardik n Jignesh in Ummed Hotel. IB, Police are chckng hotel rooms. @PMOIndia @narendramodi ji Wat is happening in Gandhiji’s Gujarat? ...The rooms which hv been booked in my name are being checked. We are openly saying, we have met them n will keep meeting them in future too (sic),” he said in another tweet.

The Congress had invited three young community representatives – OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani and Patel – for talks with Gandhi during his visit to poll-bound Gujarat. While Thakor officially joined the Congress at a rally held in Gandhinagar, Mewani gave the event a miss.

The grand old party offered tickets to all the three youth leaders but Patel said he has no intention of contesting the polls. Sources say he is wary of siding with the Congress because it would provide the BJP with an opportunity to counter his influence on the politically significant community.

Congress state president Bharatsinh Solanki told reporters on Monday that the meeting between Gandhi and Patel and Mewani was postponed and was likely to be held either on November 1, 2 or 3 when he will be back in Gujarat for Navsarjan Yatra.

First Published: Oct 24, 2017 17:37 IST