Congress had invited three young community representatives – OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani and Patel – for talks with Gandhi during his visit to poll-bound Gujarat.
While Thakor officially joined the Congress at a rally held in Gandhinagar, Mewani gave the event a miss.
Patidar stir leader Hardik Patel also admitted he was present at a luxury hotel in Ahmedabad at the same time when the Congress’ vice president Rahul Gandhi checked into the premises but said he did not meet him amid swirling speculations they spoke to each other.
“After the Congress’s invite, I reached the hotel on Sunday at 3am. I met their (Congress) Gujarat in-charge (Gehlot). As it was too late, I decided to stay back at the hotel … But they (Bharatiya Janata Party) got the CCTV camera clips leaked because everything here (in Gujarat) is their (BJP) property,” the 24-year-old said.
“I can also explain why I reached so late here. I could not come out (of the hotel) due to media’s presence. I had not met Rahul Gandhi but the media would have claimed otherwise. But I did not meet (Pakistan’s Nawaz) Sharif at midnight like (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi,” he added.
After the CCTV footage showing Patel’s presence at the hotel emerged, both the Patidar leader and Gujarat Congress in-charge Ashok Gehlot confirmed they met but said Gandhi was not present during their meeting.
Congress state president Bharatsinh Solanki told reporters that the meeting between Gandhi and Patel and Mewani was postponed and was likely to be held either on November 1, 2 or 3 when he will be back in Gujarat for Navsarjan Yatra.
The alliance of three young community representatives with congress., local bjp party sources openly admit will kneel death bell for the 22 years bjp rule in Gujarat.