RAJKOT: Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday downplayed the hype surrounding his impending meeting with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, saying that whenever he meets him, the entire country would get to know.
“When I meet Rahul Gandhi, I will let the entire country know. How the CCTV footage was leaked is a matter of concern. If the Congress supports us and provides us reservation, then we will give our support to them,” he told ANI.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had, earlier, alleged that Patel met the Congress vice-president secretly at a luxury hotel.
However, another Patidar leader Dinesh Patel said Rahul would meet with Hardik Patel in November.
"Hardik Patel did not meet Rahul Gandhi today. He will meet when Rahul Gandhi visits from November 1-3 again," Dinesh had said.
In the run up to the Gujarat assembly polls, the Congress, eyeing Patidar votes, is trying to get support from their leaders to counter the BJP in Gujarat, where they had been in power since 1995.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the Election Commission (EC) announced the schedule of the upcoming crucial assembly elections in Gujarat.
The polls will be conducted in two phases. The polling for the first phase will be held on December 9 and for the second phase on December 14.
The counting of the votes will be held on December 18.
The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Achal Kumar Joti, announced that 50,128 polling booths would be set up and VVPAT machines will be used for the polls in the state.
The CEC also said the model code of conduct would come into force with immediate effect in the state, adding that a flash of light would be shown after voting showing details of the candidate who the voter has voted for.
CCTVs will also be installed along the border check-points, said the CEC, adding there would be 102 all-women polling stations for the polls in Gujarat.
Differently-abled voters will be given preference at the polling stations.
The term of 13th state assembly ends on January 22, 2018.