Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel today said he had no immediate plans to enter electoral politics and will continue to focus on raising issues related to his community and the agriculture sector. Maintaining that he would take a call on fighting elections at appropriate time, Patel made it clear that he had no plans to forge an alliance with former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, who quit the Congress yesterday. “Right now, I have no plans to contest elections. I neither have any political intentions, nor do I represent any party. I am just fighting for the cause of society and the farm sector,” Patel told reporters here.
The 24-year-old leader, however, said he would take a call on entering electoral politics at the “appropriate time”. Assembly elections in Patel’s home state are due later this year. Talking about Vaghela, Patel said the decision of the 77-year-old leader to quit the Congress was right considering his age. Replying to a query, Patel said he neither has any plans to forge an alliance with Vaghela, nor has he held talks with the Kshatriya strongman about it. Talking about the death of five farmers in a police firing at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, he said that just like in Gujarat, the voices of farmers are being muzzled in Madhya Pradesh as well.
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Talking about his visits to the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, he said, “Come what may, but I will keep visiting MP. In the next few months, I will come and address farmers’ meeting at Gwalior and other places in the state. Do whatever you want.” Patel made a demand that farm loans should be waived across the country and cultivators should get pension after they attain the age of 50. He also demanded that a national commission on farmers be set up.
The Patidar leader also sought withdrawal of the criminal cases lodged against farmers in Mandsaur and Neemuch districts during the farmers’ stir in MP last month. Replying to a query, Patel said that he had not come to MP ahead of farmers’ stir, but his name was falsely being linked to it. Patel blamed a BJP leader for it.