Naresh Patel, a prominent Patidar community leader and social activist, said on Thursday that he will not join politics or any political party ahead of the State’s Assembly elections. He put an end to speculation over whether he will join any of the three parties in the State: the BJP, the Congress, and the AAP.
He told reporters in Rajkot on Thursday that he had postponed entering politics in order to respect the concerns of community elders who asked him to focus on his community and social services rather than getting involved in active politics in the state.
Patel is the head of the Shree Khodaldham Trust in Rajkot, which is one of the most prominent social religious institutions in the Patidar community. He announced the establishment of a new “political academy” in Khodaldham to train Patidar youth in politics and urge them to participate in politics in the state.
The opposition Congress was taken aback by Naresh Patel’s declaration, as party leaders had anticipated him to join the party and play a key role in the State Assembly elections due to his clout among the Patidar population in Saurashtra. The Congress party was the most forceful, with a number of politicians meeting Patel. On May 19, Patel received Raghu Sharma, Jagdish Thakor, and other Congress officials in his Rajkot farmhouse, which the AICC national secretary described as “good.”