After expressing his discontent with the Gujarat Congress in sharp words for “sidelining” him, disgruntled working president in the state Hardik Patel on Friday refuted reports that he was planning to quit the Grand Old Party.
“There is a rumour that I am leaving Congress, I do not know who is spreading it,” Hardik Patel was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“I have given my 100 per cent to Congress till now and will give the same in the coming days. We will do better development in Gujarat. There will be small fights and blame games within the party, but we have to work together to make Gujarat a better place,” he said.
On Wednesday, Patel claimed that he was sidelined and lashed out at his party’s state unit over its “style of functioning”. “My position in the party is that of a newly married groom who has been made to undergo nasbandi (vasectomy),” he had said.
He also questioned the Congress “delay” on taking a call on Khodaldham trust president and powerful Patidar leader Naresh Patel, who is being wooed by all parties in the state, suggesting that it was an insult to the entire community.
Hardik, who is the state Congress working president, expressed his grouse a day after he hinted at contesting elections after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction in a 2015 rioting and arson case. Hardik had spearheaded the Patidar community campaign in Gujarat in 2015 seeking reservations under the OBC category.
While clarifying that he was not quitting the Congress, Patel said he had complained to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi several times about the harassment but no action has been taken.
Hardik Patel, who led an agitation of the powerful “Patidar” community for quota in Gujarat in 2015, joined the Congress just before the 2019 national election. However, he could garner the community’s support for the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls.