- Hardik Patel came into the limelight after he led Patidar quota stir in Gujarat ahead of 2017 polls
- He resigned days after Rahul Gandhi's Gujarat visit where polls will be held later this year
- Sources told India TV that Hardik Patel could join the BJP in a week
Hardik Patel resigns from Congress: In a big blow to Congress just months ahead of Assembly elections in Gujarat, its state unit working president Hardik Patel has announced his resignation from the party.
The latest move by the 28-year-old Patidar leader has triggered talks that whether he will join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or side with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ahead of the Assembly polls due by the year-end.
Sources said that Hardik is in touch with senior BJP functionaries in the state and that he could join the saffron party in a week.
Body blow for Congress
The timing of Hardik's resignation has delivered a blow to the Congress which is looking at gaining strength in the state that it last ruled in 1995. The party has since then lost its ground in the state. Just last week, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited the state to launch his party’s campaign for this year's Assembly elections. Speaking at an 'Adivasi Satyagrah' rally in the tribal Dahod district, Rahul said he is confident that Congress will come to power in the state.
When Rahul Gandhi visited Gujarat, a meeting between the two leaders was widely anticipated. However, it did not materialise.
Hardik's scathing attack on Congress leadership
In his hard-hitting resignation letter addressed to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Hardik alleged that the party has no interest in Gujarat, just opposing policies and programmes and never becoming an option to the ruling party that people are looking for.
He alleged that even after several efforts, the party failed to act in the national interest and for society. Congress was an obstacle on issues like Article 370, Ayodhya Ram Mandir, CAA-NRC and implementation of the GST. These were people's aspirations and the need of the hour for which the Congress should have played a positive role, but it did not, Hardik said.
"Be it building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, revocation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, implementation of GST - India wanted solutions for these subjects for a long time and Congress only played the role of a roadblock and was always only obstructive. When it came to issues related to India, Gujarat and my Patidar community - Congress’s only stand was to oppose whatever Govt of India led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji did. Congress today has been rejected in almost every state of India because the party and its leadership have not been able to present a basic roadmap to the people,” Patel said.
In a veiled dig at Rahul Gandhi, he said, "Our leader was abroad when he was needed in India during critical times." "Senior leaders in Gujarat are more interested in ensuring that visiting leaders get their chicken sandwiches than engaging with people during yatras," he wrote in the letter.
Hardik Patel came into the limelight after he led the Patidar quota stir in 2015. Hardik joined the Congress in 2019 despite his public promise of not entering politics. He was appointed as the working president of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) in July 2020.