Gujarat Election 2022: In 2017 Gujarat Assembly election, the Patidar reservation agitation was one of the key poll issues but after 5 years, the movement, as it appeared, went dormant. Almost all prime faces of ‘Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS)’ joined politics leaving the objective of their movement behind for fulfilling their own political ambition.
Understanding agitation leaders’ influence over the election, BJP, Congress and new entrant AAP, all political parties tried to bring Patidar activists in its fold. BJP is ahead in the game with having Hardik Patel on their side.
The poster-boy of the agitation Hardik Patel, who created a huge movement against the then Anandiben government in Gujarat, first tried hand with Congress and now he is trying his political luck with ruling Bharatiya Janta Party in a 180 degrees shift in his stand.
Patel joined Congress in 2020 and became chief of state unit. Despite holding a top post in the party in Gujarat, he failed to play a long inning in the grand old party. Just ahead of assembly election 2022, he jumped the ship and now he is contesting on BJP ticket from Virmagam assembly constituency.
Alpesh Katheriya, Dharmik Malaviya also joined politics
Other two big names from the agitation- Alpesh Katheriya and Dharmik Malaviya also joined politics. The duo chose the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) last month. Speaking to media, Dharmik Malaviya said he is exploring the option of winding up PAAS.
Reshma Patel, Chirag Patel and Varun Patel too active in politics
Reshma Patel, Chirag Patel and Varun Patel, the first to leave the organization and join a political party had joined the BJP ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections.
However, Reshma Patel quit the BJP and joined Congress later. But upon denial ticket from Congress, she switched to AAP. Reshma has been a close associate of Hardik and a woman face of the movement.
Patidar & ongoing election
Families who lost their love-ones and faced jail terms post-agitation are filling dejected and ditched for obvious reasons. 14 people lost their lives during protests. They are angry with those who deserted the objective of the movement and joined politics. Even a camp of BJP reportedly is feeling uncomfortable with Hardik Patel’s entry into the party as the agitation caused huge damage to the then Anandiben government.