Ahmedabad: Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly election due later this year, Patidar leader Hardik Patel has confirmed that he will be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), BJP sources said.
On May 18, he resigned from the primary membership of the party in a scathing attack on the top and state leadership of the Congress.
BJP sources said today that Hardik is likely to officially join the party on June 2 at Srikalam, Koba, near the party’s state headquarters, Gandhinagar. Sources said that he can wear saffron in the presence of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and party’s state president CR Patil.
It is worth noting that 28-year-old Hardik, who came into the limelight after the 2015 Patidar reservation movement, duly joined the Congress in March 2019 before the last Lok Sabha elections and in July 2020, he was made the working president of the main opposition party of the state.
The kind of harsh language used by Mr. Patel in his resignation letter to Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi and advocated issues like Ram Mandir and abrogation of Article 370 from Kashmir. This had fueled speculation that he would soon join the ruling BJP.
Legislative Assembly elections are to be held in Gujarat this year. There was also speculation that the politically ambitious Hardik wanted to join the Aam Aadmi Party first.
During the violent reservation movement of the Dabang Patel or Patidar community of the state, he had to stay in jail for a long time in two famous cases of sedition. Due to his agitation, the then Chief Minister Mrs. Anandiben Patel had to step down from the post.
In the assembly elections held in the year 2017 due to the effect of this movement, the performance of BJP was very bad and it was able to return to power somehow.
Interestingly, former Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, one of the trio who vehemently opposed the BJP in the last elections, has already joined this party.
If Hardik also joins the BJP, the only leader from this trio will be Congress-backed Independent MLA from Vadgam, Jignesh Mevani, who will be the opponent of Kesaria Dal.