Congress is apparently leaving no stone unturned in order to pip the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the poll-bound state of Gujarat. Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had a long, late-night meeting with agitator Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) on Wednesday, where both the parties discussed their respective terms. According to reports, the talks between Congress and PAAS leader are in advanced stages as Congress has given three options to Hardik Patel-spearheaded Patidar organisation to ponder upon. The PAAS members have said that a meeting will be set up among the top brass and legal experts of the organisation before coming to a conclusion.

PAAS spokesperson Dinesh Bambhania addressed a press conference after the meeting with Kapi Sibal and said that they have been given three options by the Congress party on how to provide reservation to our community in educational institutions and government jobs. Bhambania remained coy when asked to reveal the options, he said, “The options that have been given will be kept confidential till we discuss it with Hardik, social leaders of the community, legal experts and then it would be kept before our community. If the community accepts the demand, we will convey it accordingly to the Congress party.”

Bhambania further said that the meeting was conducted in a very cordial atmosphere but the PAAS members have rejected Congress’ reservation offer under the Economically Backward Class as it is not constitutionally valid. He said, “The Congress proposal has not touched 49 per cent reservations for SC, ST and OBC which exists in the state. The options that have been given are over and above it.”

Congress leader Kapil Sibal also addressed the press conference and said that he was hopeful about the fruitful results that the meeting will yield in future. Sibal said, “We have discussed all the aspects and will do all the things (to provide reservation to the Patidar community) as per the constitution.” He further added that he expects the matter to come to conclusion in 2-3 days.

Gujarat Assembly Elections will be held in two phases on December 9 and December 14 while the counting of the votes will be conducted on December 18.

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