I too was offered money: Hardik’s father

Ahmedabad: Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor Hardik Patel’s father Bharat Patel on Wednesday said he too was tempted with a monetary offer last year when the quota stir by the Patels had just begun.

His revelation comes in the wake of Hardik Patel’s statement that he was offered Rs.1,200 crore by an IAS officer to call off his agitation.

According to Bharat Patel, he was offered Rs.15 crore to Rs.20 crore to stop his son from attending the ‘Mahakranti Rally’ in Ahmedabad on August 26, 2015.

Hardik Patel’s agitation for quota for the Patels in government jobs and educational institutions made a big impact with this rally.

Speaking at a rally in Jam Jodhpur in Saurashtra to mark the beginning of the Patidaar Ekta Yatra across the Saurashtra region on Wednesday, Bharat Patel claimed: “They said take this money and just see that your son does not attend the rally.”

“I spoke to my son Hardik and he also said we do not want such money,” he told a massive gathering of the Patels. He, however, did not reveal who made this offer to him.

The Patels in Saurashtra region on Wednesday kick-off the ‘Patidar Ekta Yatra’, which will travel across Saurashtra region in the coming month to press their demand for reservation.

Officially though, the rally has been dubbed as an attempt to spread awareness about “saving the girl child” and “favouring de-addiction”.

Bharat Patel’s claim comes less than a month after Hardik wrote a letter claiming that he was offered Rs.1,200 crore by a senior bureaucrat posted with the Gujarat government and considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to give up his agitation in the state.

Meanwhile, Hardik Patel on Wednesday again confirmed that he held discussions with BJP parliamentarian Vitthal Radadiya on a 35-point agenda about reservation but reiterated that he would not succumb to any compromise with the government.

“We are willing to talk on any topic as long as it is in the interest of our community,” Hardik Patel told the media at Visnagar in Mehsana district.

He was brought to Visnagar for a court hearing there, before he was taken back to the Lajpore jail in Surat.

In a related development, as many as 60 members of the Patel community were booked by Ahmedabad police for allegedly resorting to violence in the city late on Tuesday night.

A mob, allegedly comprising of Patels, resorted to violence and damaged public transport buses and BRTS corridor in support of their agitation.