Mumbai (The Hindu): “I have come here as a friend. Wherever they need me, i will stand with them. The Gujarati and Marathi communities stand together always,” the Patidar leader says after meeting the party chief in Mumbai
Hardik Patel, Gujarat's young leader who spearheaded the Patidar agitation, met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday and assured that he will stand with the party when it needs him.
Mr. Patel held a joint press conference with Mr. Thackeray at the latter's residence Matoshri in suburban Mumbai, where he claimed to have come to bow down in front of Sena founder late Bal Thackeray whom he always idolised.
When asked whether he will campaign for the Shiv Sena among the electorally strong pockets of Gujarati community, Mr. Patel said that he now stands with good people. “I have come here as a friend. Wherever they need me, i will stand with them. The Gujarati and Marathi communities stand together always,” he noted.
Referring to the Shiv Sena as a tiger, Mr. Patel added that he doesn't think a tiger ever requires help. “I am here to seek blessings. I demand fear-free government,” he said.
Mr. Patel was recently in news after he vowed to make Gujarat a BJP- free State. The Shiv Sena too has snapped electoral ties with the BJP ahead of civic polls in Maharashtra.
Stressing that the new found friendship with Mr. Patel is all set to go longer, Mr. Thackeray said that his party has now started contesting polls outside Maharashtra. “After Goa and Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat could be next. If we contest in Gujarat, Hardik Patel will be our face,” he said.
Launching another set of attack on the BJP, the Shiv Sena chief minced no words in terming the present government in the State as the one on notice period. “One can assume it is a government on notice period. We are not answerable to BJP and I am sure that people will vote for us even without the BJP. Just like the code of conduct, even this notice period has a fixed time frame and next steps will be visible soon," he said.
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