Ahmedabad: Accusing the BJP of using Patels as a votebank, jailed quota agitation leader Hardik Patel in a letter to Chief Minister Anandiben Patel questioned whether she belonged to the community.
In the letter, sent from Surat jail two days ago, Hardik has also accused the party of dumping several leaders from the community who refused to bow down. "During your speech at a function... few days back, you said Patels are selfish and thieves. Now I am having a doubt as to whether you really belong to the Patel community.
On what basis you described Patels as selfish and thieves? "This is the same Patel community which supported BJP for last 30 years in building its base in Gujarat. We gave you votes and money. BJP came to power with our support," Hardik wrote in the letter, content of which was shared with media by his lawyer today.
Hardik, who is in jail since September in two sedition cases, further in the letter said he has not done anything wrong as he was only fighting for reservations for Patels. He also welcomed the government's decision to withdraw 74 FIRs -- where the offences are minor -- filed against Patel youths during the quota agitation in August. "But, it is like saying sorry after slapping us.
You tried to intimidate us by showing fear of law. Let me tell you that we are not afraid of it as we have not done anything wrong," said the letter. "BJP kept only those who bowed down before the leadership. ... strong leaders like Keshubhai Patel, Dilip Sanghani and Gordhan Zadafia were sidelined as they refused to bow down.
BJP also eliminated leaders of Brahmin, Rajput and Dalit community from state's political scene," said the letter. "Patels are not BJP's property, so don't try to suppress us.
We request you to support our cause of reservation. Otherwise our movement will change the political scene in Gujarat," Hardik wrote in the letter.