Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to be toeing the line of wooing support from the Patidar community ahead of the assembly election in the state, in the backdrop of Naresh Patel’s decision of joining politics.
Modi recently addressed the 14th foundation day celebrations at the Umiya Mata Temple in Junagadh, where he praised the efforts of the Patidar community. Kadva Patidars consider Umiya Mata their clan deity.
Political pundits feel Modi is trying to gain the Patidars’ support in order to secure the assembly polls. Naresh Patel, a Patidar leader and Khodal Dham trustee, paid a visit to the temple ahead of the PM’s visit. Naresh, who is known to be considering a political career, had hinted at a united front in the state between the Kadva and Leuva factions of the Patidars.
Naresh’s statement is significant, since the subject of ‘injustice to Patidars’ is likely to be raised by the Opposition and other community groups during the forthcoming state election.
Hardik Patel, a Patidar politician and the working president of the Gujarat Congress, had previously warned the BJP administration that if cases filed during the Patidar movement were not removed, he would begin agitations. The Gujarat administration has withdrawn 10 such cases. This was a sign that the Patidar issue would resurface in the run-up to the Assembly elections.