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Hardik Patel meets influential Patidar leader Naresh

Congress party leader Hardik Patel. File photo

Congress party leader Hardik Patel. File photo | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Sulking Gujarat Congress leader Hardik Patel, who did not attend the three-day brainstorming session of the Congress top brass in Udaipur, on May 15, met the Patidar community’s influential leader Naresh Patel and requested him to take a call regarding joining politics at the earliest. 

Mr. Patel and other Patidar agitation leaders Alpesh Kathiria and Dinesh Bambhania met Naresh Patel in Saurashtra on May 15. The meeting assumes significance amidst growing buzz that Hardik is likely to part ways with the Opposition Congress party ahead of the crucial Assembly polls in Gujarat. 

The 28-year old leader has been sulking with the Congress party leadership while publicly hitting out at the State leaders for not allowing him and other youth leaders to work in the party set up. 

TV interviews

When the Congress brainstorming session was underway in Udaipur, Mr. Patel in a series of TV interviews questioned the party’s leadership saying he and others felt frustrated as the party did not allow him and others to work against the ruling party. 

He skirted the questions about why he did not attend the Congress party’s chintan shivir, contending that he had pre-decided engagements in Gujarat. 

On May 15, he told media that Naresh Patel should decide at the earliest. “We have told him to take the call at the earliest,” he added.

Naresh Patel to decide soon

When asked, Naresh Patel said that his decision would come in the next few days as he is still consulting the Patidar community leaders in every district. 

Meanwhile, speculations are rife in Gujarat that Mr. Patel is likely to switch over to the ruling BJP in the State in the next few days. Though he has publicly denied quitting the Congress, his consistent remarks against the State leadership and his absence from the brainstorming session in Udaipur have led to speculations that he is counting his days in the Opposition party. 

Last month, in an interview with a Gujarati daily, he lavishly praised the BJP leadership calling it “decisive”. 

Last he was seen with Congress leaders was on May 10 when Rahul Gandhi held a tribal convention in Dahod. In it, Mr. Gandhi had showered praises on another youth leader, prominent Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani. 


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 12:15:55 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hardik-patel-likely-to-quit-congress-and-join-bjp-meets-patidar-leader-naresh-patel/article65417373.ece