After accusing the ruling BJP of trying to “buy” him, Patidar leader Narendra Patel on Thursday circulated an audio recording of his purported telephonic conversation with his associate Varun Patel to back his charge.
Varun Patel joined the BJP after quitting the Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) on October 21.
The next day, North Gujarat PAAS convener Narendra Patel joined the ruling party in the presence of Varun Patel and senior BJP leaders.
However, a few hours later Narendra Patel claimed that he had been offered Rs 1 crore to switch loyalties.
He also showed Rs 10 lakh to media persons, claiming it had been given to him as advance by Varun Patel who had allegedly brokered the deal.
While both the BJP and Varun Patel refuted the charges, Narendra Patel announced that he had the audio and video evidence which he would disclose at the right time.
On Thursday, he circulated an audio clip in which Varun Patel is purportedly heard telling him that he will get 60 per cent of the amount after the BJP’s press conference, while the rest will be delivered during a party function the next day.
Narendra Patel and Varun Patel switched off their mobile phones and could not be contacted after the audio clip went viral on social media on Thursday.
On Wednesday, a local court in Gandhinagar had ordered an inquiry into the complaint filed by Narendra Patel accusing BJP leaders of offering him a bribe.
In his complaint, he said that the BJP leaders tried to break him away from the PAAS, which has been agitating for quota for the Patidar (Patel) community, and purchase him “like a slave”.
He has named state BJP president Jitu Vaghani, the party’s state youth wing president Rutvij Patel, spokesperson Bharat Pandya and former PAAS members Varun Patel and Mahesh Patel in the complaint.
News Nation does not necessarily vouch for the authenticity of the tapes.