Remember Hardik Patel. the one who spearheaded and soon became the face of the Patidar quota stir? With the protests he not only became a leader, but also a “crorepati” within a year, his former aides have claimed. Hardik’s former close associates — Chirag Patel and Ketan Patel — have levelled these allegations against him in an open letter addressed to him, indicating fissures in the agitation launched by Patidars to seek OBC status and qualify for reservation in government jobs and education in Gujarat. In the letter, Chirag and Ketan alleged that the 23-year-old Hardik has become a ‘crorepati’ (millionaire) within one year of launching the Patel quota agitation.
“People of our community very well know that instead of helping kin of those who lost their lives during our agitation, you and your close friends are living a lavish life. You and your uncle Vipul bhai bought expensive cars from the donations collected to help the martyrs and to fund the agitation,” said the letter. “Normally, people find it difficult to make both ends meet after going to jail. But, it is exactly opposite in your case as you have become a crorepati after going to jail,” Chirag and Ketan claimed.
Hardik has moved to Udaipur, Rajasthan after being granted bail by the Gujarat High Court last month in two sedition cases lodged against him in Ahmedabad and Surat. One of the conditions for granting bail was that he would stay outside Gujarat for the next six months. Hardik or his associates have not yet responded to the charges made in the letter.