Around a week after Gujarat Civic Polls results were announced and the Congress failed to stop BJP’s winning momentum, Hardik Patel has maintained that the people of Gujarat does not like the saffron party but also do not vote for Congress as it is not aggressive. In an exclusive interview with the Indian Express, he said that back in 2015 when he started Patidar Andolan, he was without a care for anyone and aggressive but today it is not about the community but health, education, employment and the people. He said that he is working to strengthen the party. Hardik Patel had joined Congress in March, 2019 and will be completing two years next month. He is currently busy campaigning for the local panchayat elections and municipality elections to be held tomorrow.
Patel, who is facing a two-year conviction, said that his political career in the last five years has been awkward. When asked about the plans to contest elections, Patel said that when he was preparing for his sister’s wedding in 2017, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had offered to send him to the Rajya Sabha but he had refused citing his age. Patel said that his temptation for a political position went away after that.
When asked about the evolution of his role as a working president of State Congress, Patel said that he doesn’t have the power to issue a mandate. “I was not there in a single screening (for tickets), nobody asked me during the ticket distribution. So, I said nothing,” said Patel.
Blaming state leaders for the party’s debacle in Surat, Patel said that he had toured 6,000 villages of Gujarat and knows the situation on the ground. “Had they asked me what is to be done, I would have given them the right advice,” said Patel.
Patel also hinted that state Congress leaders are trying to bring him down as they are not organising any event for him to address. However, he said that he will neither quit Congress nor he regret the decision to join the party.
When questioned why youth are not connecting with the Congress, Patel said that the youth has no understanding of politics as even the smallest elections are a choice between Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. He said that Gujarat or India’s youth does not look at who is the local candidate because he has no understanding of politics.