Hardik Patel’s former aide Chirag Patel joins BJP
Ahmedabad, Nov 16 (PTI) Patidar quota stir spearhead Hardik Patel's former close aide Chirag Patel, who is facing sedition charges along with Hardik, today joined the ruling BJP in the presence of Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel. After joining the saffron party, Chirag accused Hardik of fulfilling his personal ambitions in the garb of leading the agitation for reservation to Patidar community. "The agitation, which was started with the goal of getting reservation for the Patel community, has now become a tool to satisfy the personal ambitions of one person. It has become a tool to acquire wealth and power. I strongly believe that the agitation is going in a wrong direction," he told reporters. Chirag, who was expelled from the Hardik-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) last year, also slammed Hardik over the recent sex clips allegedly involving the latter. At least three intimate videos purportedly of Hardik are reported to be in circulation currently. "After the sex CDs of Hardik have emerged, it is not possible for me to remain silent. This entire episode is a blot on the community," he said. Chirag also questioned the Patidar leader's stand on the Congress, as Hardik had hinted at supporting the party in the Assembly polls, to be held next month. "Congress has diverted the agitation in their favour by using Hardik, who only wants to satisfy his personal ambitions. Hardik is now exposed before the people of Gujarat," Chirag alleged. Welcoming Chirag into the BJP, Nitin Patel said the government had done everything possible to help the community. He also claimed that over 500 cases lodged against the agitators had been withdrawn. In August last year, the PAAS had suspended Chirag and another key leader, Ketan Patel, after the duo alleged that Hardik used the agitation as a tool to satisfy his personal ambitions and became a "crorepati" within one year of the movement. Chirag and Ketan were put behind bars for almost eight months with Hardik, as they are co-accused in the sedition case filed by the Ahmedabad Police following large-scale violence in Gujarat after their mega rally here on August 25, 2015. However, after they were sidelined by Hardik in August last year, the duo accused Hardik of making money in the garb of leading the agitation. Through an open letter, the duo had also raised their objection about the "dictatorial" approach of Hardik. Later, the PAAS suspended the duo saying they had levelled baseless allegations against Hardik. At that time, Hardik had said that both Chirag and Ketan were playing into the hands of some BJP leaders, who were "trying to weaken the stir".
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