NEW DELHI: Non-bailable warrant has been issued against Patidar leader Hardik Patel and six others by Visnagar session court in Gujarat's Mehsana district. The warrant was issued for not appearing in a case of vandalizing BJP MLA Rishikesh Patel's office during Patidar quota agitation in 2015.
Warrant was issued on the day when the Election Commission announced schedule for assembly elections in Gujarat.
Hardik patel on Sunday hinted at supporting Congress against the ruling BJP in upcoming elections.
The Gujarat Assembly elections are being seen as a major test of popularity of Modi and poll management skills of BJP chief Amit Shah, both of whom hail from the state.
Congress had on invited the fiery trio of Hardik Patel, Thakor community leader Alpesh Thakor and dalit leader Jignesh Mevani to join hands with the party to defeat the ruling BJP.
Alpesh, who has emerged as a strong OBC leader, has already joined the Congress Party. With Alpesh joining Congress and Hardik hinting at supporting the grand old party, political equations in Gujarat are bound to change.
Congress is looking forward to create a political space for itself in prime minister Narendra Modi's home state by trying to win Patidars and OBC voters.
The Patels have been the bedrock of the BJP's support base, apart from the upper castes and Vaishyas, the trading community. A significant erosion in the Patidar support base may dent the chances of the party which has been ruling the state for over two decades now.
The key western state, considered the BJP's laboratory to test its Hindutva politics, has seen a string of protests against the government, including one for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions by the influential Patidar community led by Hardik Patel.
(With inputs from agencies)