Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. (Photo Credit: IANS)
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of repeatedly harassing party leader Hardik Patel. Her remarks came after Patel was arrested and sent to judicial custody for failing to appear before a court in a 2015 sedition case. Patel was arrested from Viramgam taluka in Gujarat's Ahmedabad district. The Congress general secretary said Patel has been fighting for the employment of youth and the rights of farmers.
"The BJP is repeatedly harassing young Hardik Patel ji who has been fighting for the employment of youth and the rights of farmers. Hardik voiced the people of his society, sought jobs for them, sought scholarships. He led farmers' movement," Priyanka tweeted.
"BJP is calling it 'treason'," she further said.
Patel had been previously arrested in connection with a sedition case filed by the local Crime Branch after violence broke out during a rally by the Patel community in Ahmedabad on August 25, 2015.
The quota leader was granted bail in July, 2016, and the court had, in November 2018, framed charges against him and other accused in the case.
On Saturday, Additional Sessions Judge BG Ganatra issued an arrest warrant against Patel, after accepting the government’s plea against an exemption application moved by the Patidar leader’s lawyer.
The prosecution told the court the accused intended to delay the trial by seeking regular exemption from appearance.
The court also observed that Patel, who has to be cross-examined in the case, was flouting bail conditions by not remaining present regularly with the intention to delay the trial.
Patel had joined the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.