Will support Congress, if it supports Patidar causes: Hardik Patel

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However, speaking to ANI, Patel said that he could not contest elections because of his age, but agreed with the Congress to unite against the BJP.

"This agitation was not Hardik Patel's alone".

The Congress reached out to opposition parties in Gujarat on Saturday with an eye on an anti-BJP front and received a shot in the arm as other backward class (OBC) leader Alpesh Thakor said he will join the party. He was accompanied by Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot and Bharat Singh Solanki (Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee chief), reported Times of India.

"It is time to throw out the BJP in Gujarat. We are also ready to give him a ticket if he wants to fight elections in the future", Solanki told reporters.

Meanwhile, the move gains significance as the Congress and the BJP have been trying woo Patidars ahead of polls.NYOOOZ TV Videos - Dedicated to bringing you the latest and best in politics, sports, current affairs and entertainment world.

Jignesh Mewani, on the other hand, said, "I am determined to defeat the BJP not only in Gujarat in December 2017 but also in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019". I can not contest elections myself because of constitutional provisions, nor do I want.

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Hardik Patel also announced that he was "against the BJP" and "will extend issue-based support to the Congress".

Hardik Patel, the Patidar leader who spearheaded a prolonged agitation for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for people of his community, was rather tepid in his response to the Congress' invitation.

Solanki said Thakor met Gandhi with his "team" and chose to join the Congress in the interest of Gujarat.

In the Rajya Sabha polls, two NCP MLAs claimed to have voted for BJP candidate Balwantsinh Rajput despite their promise to back Ahmed Patel.

Mr Thakor rose to prominence after the Patidar agitation led by 24 year old Hardik Patel demanding OBC status and quota benefits for the Patidar community in the state.

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