Days after quitting the Congress, Patidar leader Hardik Patel is set to join the BJP on Thursday (June 2), reported news agency ANI. This comes as a shot in the arm for the saffron party ahead of the Assembly elections in Gujarat.
Patel had quit the Congress on May 18, writing a scathing letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi in which he launched an all-out attack on the party’s Gujarat unit and the senior leadership.
In his resignation letter, Patel wrote that the Congress “only played to the role of a roadblock” over certain key issues in the country and was “merely reduced to opposing everything”.
The influential Patidar leader said that despite his constant attempts to steer the Congress in the right direction, the party has been continuously working against the interests of the country and society.
After publicly criticising the functioning of the Gujarat Congress in April, Patel had suggested that his options were “open”. He had also lavishly praised the ruling BJP for its “terrific decision-taking” leadership. However, back then, he had denied any plans to quit the Congress.
In an interview given to Divya Bhaskar newspaper, Patel praised the BJP over decisions such as abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and building of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, adding that he was also “a proud Hindu”.
He said the Congress played the role of a roadblock on a range of issues, including Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and implementation of GST. He had recently praised the BJP over its stand on the same issues.
Hardik Patel had gained prominence in 2015 after he led the agitation seeking reservation for the Patidar community in the state. He was made the Gujarat Congress working president in July 2020.