Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel, who has been sulking for some time for an “ambiguous” role being given to him, on Thursday denied all speculations that he may join the BJP or the Aam Aadmi Party and reiterated that he was only asking for clearly defined responsibilities.
In an interview to NDTV, Patel said, “I don’t have a godfather in politics and I have reached here on my own steam. I have travelled to 8,000 villages and I know the expectations of the people.”
Patel reiterated that he had no issues with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi but what he wanted and urged the party was to allot specific responsibility to him, without any kind of favouritism or nepotism.
“People like me don’t come from political families, we are from the ground. We have worked hard and made an identity for ourselves in Gujarat. We don’t want to pressurise the leadership before elections to get a lucrative post,” Hardik Patel, 29, asserted.
For me, it is more important that you give me some clearly defined responsibility and role. He said people had a lot of expectations from politicians like him while he had joined the party over two years ago and the State Assembly elections would be held in six months.
Citing the 2017 election results, the fiery leader said it was for the first time after 1990 that the Congress got more than 80 seats and he credited his mobilisation of “lakhs of Patel voters” through his Patidar reservation agitation for this.
“You have made me the working president and the party must clearly define my responsibilities; it has been two years now, ” he said, and wondered, “They have not organised even one big press conference with me in the state yet.”
He said Rahul Gandhi had messaged him around 15 days back asking his issues and he honestly shared his issues with him. But later, there was no response. “He was in Gujarat recently but I think he was very busy. He will get back to me once he is free,” Patel said.
On Rahul Gandhi not meeting him personally during his Gujarat visit, Hardik said there was no time since he had convened important meetings with tribal leaders within five to six hours that he was here.
Hardik is banking upon the party’s upcoming “Chintan Shivir” in Rajasthan’s Udaipur and expects sharing of fresh ideas and more clarity especially about Gujarat.
When told that the Gujarat Government withdrew cases against him, Patel said this was no big deal and that his community was very strong in Gujarat and the BJP was forced to withdraw the cases because the elections are round the corner.
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