Warrant issued against Hardik for ignoring summons cancelled.
New Delhi: Unfazed by the non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him on Wednesday, the Patidar community leader Hardik Patel on Thursday showed up in court. “I am ready to surrender if the police want to arrest me,” Mr Patel said. However, the warrant issued against him for ignoring earlier orders to appear in court was cancelled after he committed to showing up for future hearings. The NBW was issued against him following charges of damaging public property during a mass agitation that he led two years ago.
The Opposition parties termed the action against Mr Patel as “political vendetta” as he has been attacking the BJP. Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki in a press meet had invited Hardik Patel, dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor to contest elections with the Congress. Mr Alpesh Thakor has already joined in the Congress. Mr Patel has made it amply clear that he is ready to give conditional support to the Congress to defeat the BJP. Insiders say that the saffronites have made several overtures to Mr Patel but they have been fruitful. The recent spate of cases against several Patidar leaders have also angered them.
There was a buzz in Ahmedabad over a secret meeting between Mr Patel and the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during the latter’s last visit to Gujarat. But it was denied by Mr Patel who made it clear that he would be meeting Mr Gandhi in his next visit to Gujarat.
Interestingly, Mr Patel has spent several months in jail on charges of sedition after he launched a massive agitation in the state demanding reservation for Patidars in 2015. He was released on bail last year on the condition that he would not enter Gujarat for six months. That deadline ended early this year.