Bambhania makes fresh allegations against Hardik ahead of meet

Quota agitation leader Hardik Patel's estranged aide Dinesh Bambhania today alleged that the Patidar leader had demanded tickets from the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections in Gujarat, keeping fellow agitators in the dark.

The strife within the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) which led the Patel quota agitation has intensified after the Gujarat elections.

Bambhania also questioned Hardik's "lavish lifestyle" and alleged that some leaders associated with the PAAS had purchased properties in several cities.

Speaking at a press conference here, Bambhania, one of the core committee members of the PAAS, said Hardik should come clean on these issues during tomorrow's meeting of the organisation in Botad.

"Ahead of the election, Congress leaders told us that Hardik has sought 30 tickets from the party. Congress leaders even showed us a list of 30 candidates Hardik wanted to field. Hardik should explain why the PAAS's core committee was kept in the dark about these secret dealings," he said.

"Though we confronted Hardik about this then, he didn't give any answer," he said.

"During the brain-storming session tomorrow, Hardik should inform people who is bearing the cost of his lavish lifestyle while families of youths who died during the quota agitation are yet to receive the funds collected by the PAAS. Many agitators bought properties in Ahmedabad, Surat and Viramgam. How did they do it?" asked Bambhania.

Hardik Patel hails from Viramgam town.

The dissident PAAS leader reiterated that he was not going to join the ruling BJP.

In his apparent response to Bambhania ahead of tomorrow's 'Chintan Shibir', Hardik Patel said in a statement that allegations of misuse of funds were baseless.

"Earlier too some people tried to tarnish my image by alleging that I had purchased land and other properties worth Rs 85 crore. Today, similar allegations have been levelled. But I will not give up, because such allegations are false," he said in the statement.

"You have to kill me if you want to silence me," the PAAS leader said.

Before the Assembly elections, Bambhania had alleged that Hardik Patel held secret meetings with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and extended support to the party due to some "fixing" even when the Congress didn't make its stand on the demand of OBC quota for Patels clear.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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