Hardik Patel addresses a rally full of empty chairs in Bhopal

Hardik Patel, the leader of Patidar Andolan Anamat Samiti (PAAS) addressed his first public meeting in Bhopal yesterday. However, it turned out to be a flop show as most of the chairs remained empty throughout.

Hardik addressed a public gathering marking the 388th birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the BHEL Dusshehera Grounds. Several other community leaders such as Congress National Secretary Kamaleshwar Patel and MP state Women Commission Chairperson Lta Wankhade were also present. On Sunday State president Mahendra Patidar had made a claim that one lakh people belonging to the OBC community will take part in the public gathering. State Presidents of the OBC communities from Gujrat, Jharkhand, Telangana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan had also participated in the meeting.

However, the public participation by the people of the community was not as the leaders had expected it to be. Empty chairs and vacant tents dominated the meeting.

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Image credit : Dainik Bhaskar

Initially, chaos broke out at the stage as the people gathered there climbed on to the stage to greet the leaders despite repeated requests from the announcers to maintain discipline. Security personnel had to push people down.

Another disturbance followed when the community leaders, who also belong to political parties started praising their respective parties. Congress leader tried to highlight the works of Congress but he was stopped by the people who said.” this is a community meeting, please don’t make it into a political ground.”

Hardik Patel, on the other hand, said that the empty chairs are there because obstacles have been placed to stop the community people from coming to his meeting. He added that there are one crore people, from the Kunbi and Patidar community in Madhya Pradesh and the Shivraj Chouhan led BJP government has deliberately inducted a member from their community into the council of Ministers in anticipation of his visit.

He added that when he began his rallies in Gujrat, initially there were very few people there too. But now his meetings have seen numbers in lakhs. He said some people in the state will have a sound sleep at night after reading Hardik Patel’s rally was a flop show and he is delighted that he is the reason for sound sleep for some people. Patel further added that he is a revolutionary who gives sleepless nights to the tainted lot.

Hardik Patel asserted that he is not at all disheartened by the low public turnout and he will keep coming to Madhya Pradesh in the upcoming months. MP has state assembly elections due in November-December this year.

According to reports, the meeting was organised to raise socio-economic conditions of the community but the community leaders thronged the venue with their convoys of SUVs.

Earlier, Hardik had also visited Kolkata and promised Mamata Banerjee that he will campaign for her.

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