Gandhinagar: After a vehement public outburst in which he stated he felt like a “groom driven into nasbandi (vasectomy),” Hardik Patel, the Congress’s unhappy Working President in Gujarat, denied that he was on the verge of leaving the party.
“There is a rumour that I am leaving Congress, I do not know who is spreading it,” Hardik Patel was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“I have given my 100 per cent to Congress till now and will give the same in the coming days. We will do better development in Gujarat. There will be small fights and blame games within the party, but we have to work together to make Gujarat a better place,” he said.
The firebrand leader added, “If speaking truth is a crime, consider me guilty. The people of Gujarat have expectations from us, we have to stand up to them.”
Hardik Patel further stated that he had reported about the harassment to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on multiple occasions, but that no action had been taken.
Hardik Patel, who led a powerful “Patidar” community agitation for quota in Gujarat in 2015, joined the Congress soon before the national election in 2019. His popularity has dwindled since his political foray, especially since he had previously avoided politics. The Patidar community did not support the party in the 2019 election or local body elections, despite wins in the 2017 Gujarat election.
Hardik Patel has accused his party leadership of neglecting and sidelining him as the Congress prepares for a showdown with the ruling BJP in Gujarat. He also claimed yesterday that Gujarat Congress leaders were “harassing” him and pressuring him to leave the party.
“I am being harassed so much that I feel bad about it. Gujarat Congress leaders want that I should leave the party,” Mr Patel told PTI.
“I am more pained because I have represented the situation to Rahul Gandhi many times, but no action has been taken by him against Gujarat Congress leaders,” he said.
Reports say Mr Patel is upset about the Congress’s plan to rope in prominent Patidar leader chairman of the Khodaldham Temple Trust, Naresh Patel.
“You used Hardik in 2017, you want to use Naresh bhai in 2022 and in 2027 you would use another Patidar leader. Why don’t you support and strengthen Hardik?” he said.
“They should take Naresh bhai, but will they treat him like the way the way they did to me?” he asked.
Mr Patel said though he was working president of the Gujarat Congress, no work had been given to him. “I am not called to attend important meetings or not made part of any decision-making process,” he alleged.
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