Influential Patidar leader Naresh Patel who has been talking about making his political debut could soon announce his entry into active politics just months before Gujarat goes to the polls. Naresh Patel heads Shree Khodaldham Temple Trust.
Sources said that Naresh Patel recently held a meeting with Patidar leaders to chalk out the strategy in the run-up to the polls scheduled later this year. The meeting was attended by Hardik Patel who recently quit the Congress, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor Alpesh Katheriya and PAAS functionary Dinesh Bambhaniya.
If sources are to be believed, Naresh Patel along with Gujarat Congress president Jagdish Thakor met the Congress high command last week. It is widely being speculated that he could announce his entry into electoral politics tomorrow when he will address the media.
The Patidars constitute over one-sixth of Gujarat's population of 6.5 crores. Securing the votes of Patidars can swing the result in favour of any party. Naresh Patel as head of the Shree Khodaldham Temple Trust holds at least 45 seats.
Sources said that after Hardik Patel's exit from Congress, the party is wooing Naresh Patel who is a 'Leuva' Patidar (a sub-caste). Congress believes that it will greatly benefit if Naresh Patel joins the party in a state where the grand old party is out of power since 1995.