India’s grand old party, the Indian National Congress has enough troubles to handle any more but it is facing rebellion by Hardik Patel, its vice president in Gujarat. Nine months before the Assembly polls in Gujarat, Hardik has begun to speak his mind out against “State party leadership” for not letting him work.
“The Congress is in a dire State in Gujarat. I have requested my State leaders several times that we should play the role of a constructive opposition but they don’t work and they don’t let me work either”, he said.
There is a buzz that the recent verdict of the Supreme Court allowing Hardik to contest the Assembly elections in Gujarat has set him thinking about options. Poliical observers in Gujarat do not rule out Hardik Patel joining the BJP and contesting on the ticket of the ruling party in the elections expected in December.
It must be noted that in the past,Hardik Patel’s family was associated with RSS. “I am going to distribute 4,000 copies of Bhagwad Gita soon to commemorate my father’s first death anniversary. Historically, we are children of Luv and Kush which means we descend from Lord Ram and are Raghuvanshis. What is wrong in being a staunch Hindu and being proud of your caste background?”, the 28 year-old Patel leader said.
He did not speak out clearly but praised certain policies, especially decision making abilities of the BJP. He said, “It is said – know your enemy better than your friend”. “Not only me, entire Gujarat Congress should do this exercise”, he said adding that the complacence of the Gujarat Congress has ensured that the party stays out of power for 30 years in Gujarat. “I don’t see that the Congress has much future in Gujarat if it continues to function in the same manner”, he added.
While the Aam Aadmi Party in Gujarat is strongly consolidating itself and its membership drive is in full force and BJP is ready with its ground zero strategies, booth management and the mindset of a winner, we, the Congress are nowhere on the electoral landscape of Gujarat”, Hardik claimed. he said that opinions Gujarat Congress outnumber the leaders.
The Patidar leader further said that when a certain member puts forth his issues, the leaders should discuss and see how the problems can be resolved. Instead, all kinds of false assumptions start floating. “I speak only for the welfare of the people of Gujarat. If we see that the party in power is not paying attention to a certain issue concerning the people, as opposition we must raise our voice on behalf of the people. Instead, the Congress party not only delays decisions but even if I want to raise my voice against prevailing unemployment or corruption or any other issue in Gujarat for the welfare of the people; I am not allowed to do so.”
He asserted, “Gujarat has given me everything. All of them connect me with Kejriwal but BJP, Congress, all my options are open. My intention is clear and that is to do whatever I can for the welfare of the people of this state.” He then smiled and said he has no plans to quit Congress right away,
It must be noted that Hardik Patel is known for his hard bargains. When the late Rajiv Satav was the observer of Gujarat, Hardik Patel had threatened him that he would quit the Congress if he is not made the vice president before his birthday. Ironically, the party high command agreed and Hardik was made the vice president overnight. Now Hardik is bent upon bringing Naresh Patel in the party fold. Naresh Patel a strong Patel leader from Saurashtra has reportedly expressed his wish through Hardik to join Congress at a high position but the party high Command has not made things clear till now.
Meanwhile, while decsribing himself as a staunch Hinduvaadi, Hardik Patel said he was really happy with BJP’s decision of the constructing the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and repealing of Article 370.