Ahmedabad: In a scathing attack, BJP MP Vitthal Radadiya on Wednesday termed Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel as "mentally unstable" and said he was trying to project himself as a "hero" of the Patel community from jail.
The remarks by Radadiya, who once worked as a mediator between Patel quota agitators and Gujarat government, came a day after Hardik virtually termed him a "traitor" of Patel community, saying Patidars did not need the Porbandar MP anymore.
Meanwhile, Hardik's close aide leader Mahesh Savani who met the PAAS convener in Lajpore Central Jail today claimed that his remarks on Radadiya have been "misinterpreted" by the media.
"It seems Hardik has lost his mental balance in jail, that is why he talks such nonsense like a mad person. He was not consistent in his views and keeps changing his statements. I think he only wants to become a hero of the (Patel) community while being in jail," said Radadiya, a prominent Patel leader of Saurashtra region.
"There was a time when he (Hardik) used to say that Vitthalbhai is a very respectable person. And suddenly, I have became a traitor to him. I don't even want to see the face of such a person who has lost his mental balance and calls me a traitor. Otherwise, I am always with the community and will come forward whenever my services are needed," he said.
Radadiya had earlier announced that his role as a mediator has come to an end in the wake of the state government carving out a 10 per cent quota for the poor among unreserved category, including Patels. He added that the quota should be at least 20 per cent.
Against the backdrop of Radadiya's statement, Hardik yesterday told mediapersons outside Surat court that his community "does not want people who betray their own community. We don't want Vitthal Radadiya." Radadiya also took umbrage at Hardik's comments on politicians.
In a letter from Lajpore Central Jail where he is lodged under sedition charges, Hardik recently asked Patidars to stay away from upcoming programmes organised by Shree Khodal Dham Trust if it invites political leaders who want to "break the unity of the community".
Hardik alleged that the Trust, one of the prominent bodies of the community, is conniving with government to create a rift among Patidars.
Radadiya asked Hardik to list the work he has done for the welfare of the community. "Political leaders are not his personal property. We are not elected through his vote. I have been doing many activities for Patel community since many years, such as giving education to thousands of children, but what has he done for the community?," asked Radadiya.
Terming the young leader as "arrogant", Radadiya said, "Hardik only took leadership of an agitation, nothing else. Yet, he is showing so much of arrogance. How can you (Hardik) incite people to boycott political leaders. I want to tell him that only politicians can work as mediators to arrive at a solution."
Meanwhile Savani, who has been named as new mediator for PAAS, told mediapersons outside Lajpore Jail that Hardik's statement has been "misinterpreted" by media.
"Today, I met Hardik at Lajpore Jail in Surat. Hardik told me that he never said anything against Vitthalbhai. He told me that his statement before media has been misinterpreted," said Savani.
During the meeting, Hardik also handed over a letter addressed to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. "Hardik gave this sealed letter to us during the meeting. We will hand it over to the CM in coming days. We are not aware about the content, as the letter is in sealed cover," added Savani....