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No immediate plan to join hands with Vaghela: Hardik

Indore: Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel today said he has no immediate plans to plunge into electoral politics in his home state Gujarat or strike an alliance with Shankarsinh Vaghela who quit the Congress.

Patel said he will continue to focus on raising issues concerning his community and the agriculture sector and that he would take a call on fighting polls at an appropriate time.

“Right now, I have no plans to contest elections. I neither have any political intentions, nor do I represent any party. I’m just fighting for the cause of society and the farm sector,” Patel told reporters here.

Assembly polls in Gujarat state are due later this year.

Asked how he viewed Vaghela’s move, Patel said the decision of the 77-year-old leader to quit the Congress was right considering his age.

Patel said he neither has any plans to forge an alliance with Vaghela nor has he held talks with the Kshatriya strongman about it.

Vaghela had yesterday announced that he was quitting the Congress amid speculations that he may float a political front by roping in parties and social outfits outside the Congress and the BJP.

On the death of five farmers in a police firing at Mandsaur, he said that just like in Gujarat, the voice of farmers was being muzzled in Madhya Pradesh as well.

Talking about his visits to the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, he said, “Come what may, but I will keep visiting MP. In the next few months, I will come and address farmers’ meeting at Gwalior and other places in the state. Do whatever you want.”

Patel demanded that farm loans be waived across the country and cultivators given pension after they attain the age of 50. He also wanted a national commission to study farmers’ issues to be set up.

The Patidar leader sought withdrawal of criminal cases lodged against farmers in Mandsaur and Neemuch districts during the farmers’ stir last month.

Patel claimed he had not visited MP ahead of farmers’ stir but his name was falsely being linked to it, alleging a BJP leader was behind it.

—PTI