BJP or AAP? Disgruntled by Congress, what's Hardik Patel's next destination? Jagran Explainer

Hardik Patel Resignation: Patel's resignation at a time when the state is preparing for the Assembly polls later this year can reduce the party's presence in Gujarat even further.

By Talibuddin Khan
Wed, 18 May 2022 02:55 PM IST
Minute Read
BJP or AAP? Disgruntled by Congress, what's Hardik Patel's next destination? Jagran Explainer
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Gandhinagar | Jagran News Desk: The infighting within the grand old party, Congress, seems unending with the discord reaching far west in Gujarat with its young leader Hardik Patel resigning from the party saying that the state Congress leadership saying that Congress party and its leadership both at the central and state level have been merely reduced to opposing everything.

Taking potshots at the Congress leaders, Patel said that whenever the country faces challenges and the party struggled through a leadership crisis, senior leaders were seen enjoying themselves abroad. In his resignation letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Patel said that despite focussing on the real issues, state Congress leaders are focussed on ensuring "chicken sandwich to those coming from Delhi".

"It is unfortunate that workers like us, who travel 500 - 600 km in our cars in a single day to meet people, get to see those big leaders of Congress in Gujarat who are least bothered to address real issues in Gujarat but are more focussed on ensuring that chicken sandwich for leaders who have come from Delhi is delivered on time!" Hardik Patel, who joined Congress in 2019 said.

Hardik Patel became front-page headlines of newspapers and lead stories on news TV channels in 2015 with his campaign for his Patidar community. Patel, who joined the Congress in 2019 just before the Lok Sabha election, had been publicly airing his grievances with the party and the top brass over being sidelined ahead of polls. He had recently compared his situation to that of a “groom forced into nasbandi (vasectomy)".

Patel's resignation at a time when the state is preparing for the Assembly polls later this year can reduce the party's presence in Gujarat even further. The Congress, which last ruled over the state in the 1990s, has 63 seats in the 182-seat Assembly.

AAP or BJP? What's ahead for Hardik Patel?

Speculations are rife that Hardik Patel is eyeing switching to the BJP and the contents of the letter he submitted to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, fuel the speculations too. However, neither Patel nor anyone from the BJP has ever said anything on the rumours. In a move seen as cosying up to the BJP, Patel had earlier described himself as a believer of Lord Ram and also stated that he was “proud to be a Hindu".

Hardik Patel, who had time and now lauded the BJP government for revoking Article 370 from Kashmir and the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, has, in his letter, reiterated his stance and said that when the country needed solutions for such issues, the Congress only played the role of a "roadblock and was always only obstructive".

"Lack of seriousness about all issues is a major problem with the Congress party's senior leadership. Whenever our country faced challenges and when the Congress needed leadership, Congress leaders were enjoying abroad! Senior leaders behave in a way like they hate Gujarat and Gujaratis. How in the world can Congress then expect that the people of Gujarat will see them as an alternative to lead our state?".

Patel said Gujarat Congress has weakened the party and diluted many issues of public importance - all for "humongous personal financial gains". He said Congress today has been rejected in almost every state of India because the party and its leadership have not been able to present a basic roadmap to the people.

Meanwhile, a section of people also is speculating that Patel might switch to AAP which is gaining popularity in Gujarat. AAP had won 42 seats in the 2021 Gujarat local body polls, where the party started from zero. The AAP is eyeing to replace Congress in Gujarat and Hardik Patel could be one of the major factors which would help AAP in removing Congress as the option next to the BJP.

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