Narendra Patel, member of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), alleged that the BJP offered him ₹1 crore to break away from the Patidar agitation and join the ruling party instead. Mr. Patel joined the BJP last evening with Varun Patel bearing witness, another aide of Hardik Patel who joined the party on Saturday after meeting BJP president Amit Shah.
However, within a few hours of joining the party, Mr. Narendra Patel claimed that he received a token amount of ₹10 lakh as as a part of the ₹ 1 crore that the BJP promised him to switch over to the party – a deal he accused Mr. Varun Patel of facilitating.
Mr. Patel deposed cash before the media which he purportedly received from a BJP leader and declared that he “enacted a drama of joining the BJP only to expose the party using money power to lure Patidar agitation leaders in the State.” He told a newspaper, “The BJP stands exposed today. They offered me ₹ 1 crore and immediately ₹10 lakh was handed over to me in the presence of Varun Patel. I’m going to donate this money to the families of those killed during the Patidar agitation in 2015.”
“Varun Patel struck a deal with the BJP of ₹1 crore for me and the BJP immediately agreed. I received ₹10 lakh so that I can parade it before media and expose the dirty tricks of the BJP in Gujarat,”he said. “I will tell the BJP that I am not buy-able and even if you give me the entire Reserve Bank of India, I will not betray my community and its interests.
My main aim was to expose the BJP and I did it,” he added. “With defections of Harik Patel’s key aides like Mr. Varun Patel and Reshma Patel and few other local leaders involved in the agitation, the BJP was hoping to contain the damage the Patidar quota agitation is likely to cause during the polls,” he said.
Bharat Pandya, Gujarat BJP spokesperson, absolved the accusations, saying it was a “Congress motivated plan to malign the image of the BJP in Gujarat.”