Ahmedabad: In an election rally in BJP bastion Ahmedabad on Monday night that fetched a record 52,800 Facebook Live views, firebrand Patidar leader Hardik Patel once again exhorted the people to throw out the BJP from power.
"I am nobody here to say who to vote for but only that if you pick the BJP, you would be a traitor for your community. For once, just teach them a lesson. If you want, vote them back in 2022," he told his supporters who had gathered in huge numbers at New Nikol area here.
"Now, if you don't give an opportunity to someone else, you would not know if they are better or worse."
In his meet parallel to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Ahmedabad at the same time in the night - half an hour before campaign closes at 10 p.m., the 24-year-old Patel lambasted Modi for his "foolhardy" allegation of Pakistan's collusion in Gujarat elections.
"What has Pakistan got to do with Gujarat elections. Those who boasted of development during the last 22 years, have returned to their favourite old chant of Ram Mandir, Hindu-Muslim, Pakistan. Do they talk of development?"
He said was not around for power, but for three things. "Reservations for youth in non-reserved classes, solution to high unemployment and reduction in farmer distress. If they assure this now, I shall end the agitation right now and here and convert this into a 'thank you' rally. But he talks of Hindu-Muslim, and of Pakistan."
His Monday rally set the social media on fire with as many as 52,800 Facebook Live views, compared to 27,000 views earlier in the week that even got him an invite by Facebook CEO from US. "Now Americans would come personally to take me there. But it is not a matter to feel happy about. Our aim is not this," he said.
He concluded by invoking name of deity of the Patels and exhorted the people in the rally to take a pledge not to vote for the BJP.
Patel held the rally late in the evening after an impressive 9-hour road show along 52-km route in Ahmedabad, before it culminated into a rally in Patel dominated New Nikol area of Ahmedabad. He held the show though he was denied permission.
Traffic snarls were witnessed in different parts of the city on Monday during his road show. There were reports of minor scuffle and stone throwing, when BJP and agitating Patels in the road show clashed outside the Bapunagar Election office of the BJP candidate. The situation was brought under control after police intervention.