‘Will persuade Congress leaders to join BJP’: Patidar leader Hardik Patel

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Ahmedabad: Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who is scheduled to join Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said a campaign will be carried out in which Congress leaders will switch over to the saffron party.

“I believe the Congress party does not want to do any sort of work. I urge the leaders of the other parties to come and join the BJP. PM Modi is the pride of the entire world,” said Ex Congress leader Hardik Patel. 

Ahead of joining BJP, Patel said he will work as a ‘small soldier’ and provide his service to the nation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. Patel, who had quit the Congress last month blaming party’s top officials for the downfall of the party, will join Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) today. 

“With the feelings of national interest, state interest, public interest and social interest, I am going to start a new chapter from today. I will work as a small soldier in the noble work of service to the nation under the leadership of the successful Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi,” Patel tweeted.

Hardik catapulted to the political centre stage in 2015 when he spearheaded the Patidar reservation agitation in Gujarat, building the campaign in the run-up to the 2017 state Assembly elections.

Initially, Patel demanded the OBC status for the Patidar community. Subsequently, it was transformed into a demand for reservations for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS). His emergence on the political scene in the state put the then Chief Minister Anandiben Patel in a spot. In 2016, Anandiben Patel announced her resignation from the post.

Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Patel joined Congress in the presence of Rahul Gandhi. He, was then, appointed as the working president of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee in Gujarat in 2020. However, he accused Congress leadership of sidelining him while making important decisions and eventually quit the party in 2022.

On May 19 this year, Patel resigned from the party and stated that Gujarat Congress leaders were least bothered to address real issues of the state but were more focussed on ensuring that the leaders who come from Delhi to Gujarat get “chicken sandwich” on time. 

(With inputs from ANI)

first published:June 2, 2022, 12:18 p.m.

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