Gujarat Polls 2017: Hardik Patel's decision to join hands with Nitish Kumar is a major blow for Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party
Before people could have gotten over the drama happening in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, a major twist is likely to happen in Gujarat as the Janata Dal (United) led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has hinted at contesting the state assembly elections in alliance with the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) of Hardik Patel and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The news was confirmed by a JDU source who revealed that Nitish Kumar is likely to visit Saurashtra next month where he may address a joint rally with Hardik Patel that can mark the beginning of their campaign.
Even though the Election Commission is yet to announce elections dates, they are likely to fall in the month of November as the current assembly ends in December. Nitish is also working with Hardik Patel and recently inducted Akhilesh Katiyar, an aide of Hardik, into the JD(U). Akhilesh was also elevated to the post of national general secretary in January after PAAS leader’s recommendation.
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Akhilesh is currently handling the party affairs in Gujarat and is believed to be a bridge between Nitish Kumar and Hardik Patel. Both the sides believe that an alliance can help their chances of winning as Nitish Kumar is targeting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and understands that to make a mark there he needs to end BJP’s dominance in Gujarat.
However, Hardik Patel’s decision to join hands with Nitish Kumar is a major blow for Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party who were also eyeing a victory in Gujarat elections. Patel’s relations with Arvind Kejriwal turned sour after he attended a Kisan Panchayat, organised by dissident AAP MLA Devinder Sehrawat in his constituency, Bijwasan. Sehrawat’s part membership was cancelled after he was accused of exploiting women in return for tickets in Punjab.