Chirag Patel
Chirag Patel

The Sambhaji Brigade, that is contesting the 2017 BMC elections for the first time, have roped in Chirag Patel, close aide of Hardik Patel, from the Patidar community. The announcement comes around 10 days after Hardik joined forces with the Shiv Sena, Sambhaji Brigade's archrival. Chirag, who went to jail with Hardik during the Gujarat agitation, talks about why he's rooting for the brigade.

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"I support Hardik in his fight for reservation, but anybody who is against the ideology of Babasaheb Ambedkar, automatically becomes our rival. Whatever Uddhav Thackeray's motive is, all the Gujarati Patidars are not going to support Shiv Sena," said Chirag, adding that the Brigade would help them, "Whenever there is a problematic situation in Gujarat."

Chirag feels anyone who has dared to insult Chhatrapati Shivaji's mother, in this case author and historian Babasaheb Purandare, who the Sambhaji Brigade is vehemently against, should be boycotted. "Shiv Sena had supported the decision to give the Maharashtra Bhushan to Babasaheb Purandare, who had written twisted facts about Shivaji's mother. Anybody supporting the Sena would be an insult to the entire community. I firmly believe so and hence, will never support Shiv Sena," said Chirag.

Sambaji Brigade's Chief Campaigner Santosh Parab however, feels that there is no need for the party to reply or justify their actions, as they are sure the public has no option left but to pick them with the BJP-Sena tussle going on right now. "The reason we called Chirag was because we share similar ideologies, nothing else," said Parab. "We are farmers and we need our rights. This meeting was to make people aware of this. We will support whoever supports us towards achieving this objective," Chirag said.