Working president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, Hardik Patel has attacked the BJP for failing to manage the Coronavirus pandemic in the state and said that the saffron party was spreading malicious reports about him.
It was claimed by some sections of the media that Patel, who shot to fame after leading a vociferous Patidar movement against the BJP government in the state, may join AAP ahead of next Gujarat state assembly elections and be its Chief Ministerial face.
Debunking media reports as a malicious attempt by the BJP, 27-year-old Patel, who is also the youngest state president in Congress history, said, “I am surprised at the reports coming in from various media quarters that I am going to join the Aam Aadmi Party and become their face for the next elections in Gujarat. These reports are malicious in intent and have been released at the behest of BJP in order to create confusion among the Congress supporters and the wider Patidar Community.”
Patel’s statement assumes significance as two powerful sub-castes of the Patidar community – Leuva and the Kadva – recently joined hands to regain the political upper hand in the state and proposed that the next chief minister could be from their community.
The meeting of prominent social leaders of the Leuva and the Kadva Patidar sub-castes took place at Kagvad in Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
Gujarat watchers say after Keshubhai Patel (former BJP chief minister of Gujarat), the Patidar community lost its dominance in the state.
The coming together of two Patidar communities aims at regaining political influence for the community in the state.
Saying that he had joined the Congress party with the sole aim of removing the anti-farmer, anti-worker and anti-Patidar BJP government from the state, Hardik Patel added, “Post-2014, after the tenure of Narendra Modi as CM, the condition of all segments of society has worsened in Gujarat. As Working President, I will continue to fulfil all my responsibilities in the state to ensure that Congress comes to power in Gujarat in 2022.”
Lauding Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi for entrusting him with the leadership opportunity, Patel said, “Anyone joining the fight against misgovernance of BJP is more than welcome in Gujarat, but it was the Congress which came very close to forming the government last time in the state. People of Gujarat have seen the performance of Congress party in Govt. in neighbouring states of Rajasthan and Maharashtra during these difficult times of COVID -19 and will choose us to responsibly lead the state post 2022 with a thumping majority.”
Pertinently, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani belongs to a minority Jain community which forms less than three per cent of the total population in Gujarat while state BJP president C R Patil belongs to Marathi community settled in south Gujarat.