After a late night Congress attempt to placate the Patidar community leaders, an uneasy calm seems to be prevailing in the Congress-Hardik Patel alliance that seeks to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat.
The Congress had released the first list of 77 candidates on Sunday (19 November), following which there were reports of violence between the Congress and Hardik Patel’s outfit, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) workers. Hardik Patel had yesterday (20 November) skipped an appearance with the Congress leadership when it was being speculated that they might announce the alliance.
Following the announcement of its first list of 77 candidates, the Congress has now announced a second list of 13 candidates where four candidates have been replaced with PAAS leaders aimed at mending ties with Hardik.
A closer look at the events signals politics behind the curtains of the alliance that is yet to be formally announced. Despite PAAS’s directive to not file nomination papers as a mark of protest, one of the PAAS leaders filled up the nomination on a Congress ticket.
Hardik Patel had largely remained silent on Monday, even as a large number of policemen were stationed across Congress offices, and the their headquarter at Ahmedabad in the wake of the violence. He also sent out a cryptic tweet, possibly aimed at Congress, teaching them humility.
While the Congress and PAAS squabble continues, the BJP has released the third list of candidates, bringing the number of total candidates to 135, including 34 leaders from the Patidar community that Hardik Patel claims to represent.
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