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Does Congress lack strategy to counter anti Patidar narrative?

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Ahmedabad, June 1 (Ajit Weekly News) The Congress is lacking strategy to counter the anti-Patidar narratives created against the party, think political analysts and even some party leaders.

They said this is the party that was once led by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel from 1921 to 1946 as state president, In 1964, Anand’s Maganbhai Patel, a Lueva Patel, from 1962-67, Tribhovan Patel. Chief Minister Chimanbhai Patel was also Patidar, but today the party is termed as anti-Patidar, it’s Patidar leaders have failed to defend the party, Congress leaders feel.

Veteran Gandhian and political analyst Manibhai Patel remembers till early and mid eighties, Congress’ image was — ‘party for all’, but since the ‘KHAM’ (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslims) strategy was implemented by late Madhavsinh Solanki, the story is retold that Congress is doing injustice to Patidars. Now, it is deep rooted in the minds of new generation Patidars, though party is giving equal importance to them in ticket allocation, and in the appointment in the organisation, but failing to market it.

He cited two recent examples — how does the BJP play out its Patidar strategy, since the rumours are out that Leuva Patel leader Naresh Patel may join the Congress. Leuva Patel leaders were in limelight in the BJP event on March 11. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed Sarpanchs at the GMDC ground in Ahmedabad, Leuva Patidar leader Narhari Amin was sharing the stage, who had nothing to do with Panchayati Raj.

“Last week, a cooperative sector convention was addressed by the Prime Minister in Gandhinagar, next to him on the stage was Union Health Minister and Leuva Patidar leader Mansukh Mandavia, who had nothing to do with Cooperative sector, this is how cleverly BJP is positioning itself as party giving importance to Patidars,” cited Manibhai adding, Congress can’t play such tricks, because its leaders lack such vision and commitment.

He remembers, there were two Patidar ministers in Amarsinh Chaudhary’s cabinet — Late Vallabhbhai Patel and Nalin Patel, but Congress is neither making it a political plank nor highlighting it.

“This propaganda is run by the BJP and Patidars holding posts in BJP tarnish the image of the Congress,” alleges Virji Thumar, Congress MLA from Lathi constituency. According to him the party gives the same numbers of tickets to Patidar candidates, as much as the BJP, in 2017, 15 Patidar MLAs got elected on Congress symbol and 10 in 2012.

“Main Patidar religious organisations are headed by leaders having links with BJP, they are using the platform to spread lies against Congress,” said Thummar defending the party policy. The party elected Paresh Dhanani as Leader of Opposition in the assembly, he was the youngest LOP, how can such a party be called anti Patidar, he added.

But, there are leaders who believe that Patidar leaders are not projecting party enough. One such leader wishing anonymity said, “when Hardik Patel alleged that Congress did injustice to late Chimanbhai Patel, his son Siddharth Patel should have come out in party’s defence, but it did not happen. Siddharth Patel was made state unit president, his mother late Urmilaben Patel was elected to Rajya Sabha and made Union Minister for Energy by Congress. what more the party can give to Patidars,” questioned the leader.

–Ajit Weekly News

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