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The 50% reservation cap can not be breached, says Arun Jaitley

23 November 2017

Days ahead of the crucial Gujarat Assembly election, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convener Hardik Patel on Wednesday broke his silence on the tie-up with the Congress.

Sagar Savalia, who ran the "Vikas Gando Thayo Chhe" (development has gone crazy) campaign against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat, attacked Hardik Patel for diverting his attention from Patidar reservation to electoral politics. "Congress has agreed to give Patidars reservations under section 31, and provisions of section 46", he said. Nitin called Hardik a Congress agent and said the opposition party would use him until the elections and then discard him. "So directly or indirectly, there will be support to Congress", he said. The Congress, he said, has offered an acceptable solution for how to include Patels as beneficiaries of affirmative action policies. "BJP has always used Patidars for votes".

Nitin even accused the Congress Party of bargaining with Hardik Patel and trying to divide the Patidar community. He added that Congress will have to put this reservation formula with details, in their manifesto.

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Speaking on the disputes between PAAS and Congress over ticket allocation, he said, "We did not seek any tickets from Congress". "The Congress-Hardik club is one of mutual deception". In the I R Coelho case on January 11, 2007, the apex court ruled, "The constitutional validity of the Ninth Schedule laws on the touchstone of basic structure doctrine can be adjudged by applying the direct impact and effect test, that is the (fundamental) rights test, which means the form of an amendment is not the relevant factor, but the outcome thereof would be (the) determinative factor".

Hardik appeared to have budged on whether reservation would be provided under the OBC or EBC section - a sore point in his negotiations with the BJP earlier this year. But his claim of having consulted two top Patidar religious bodies - the Shree Khodaldham and Umiyadham - was dismissed by the outfits. Hardik's PAAS has split in recent weeks and several top leaders have joined the BJP, accusing Hardik of being a "Congress agent". Asserting that the Government would be holding a full-fledged winter session of the Parliament later, Jaitley said, "We do not know about our opponents, we have a lot of stake in the election in Gujarat".

The 50% reservation cap can not be breached, says Arun Jaitley