Once face of Patidar quota agitation, Hardik Patel joins BJP
Hardik Patel, who left the Congress last month, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat's Gandhinagar on Thursday. He had tweeted this morning that he is going to "start a new chapter" and will work as a "small soldier" under PM Narendra Modi's leadership. Patel was welcomed to the party by former Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat, Nitin Patel, during a ceremony.
Why does this story matter?
Patel had joined the Congress right before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He was made the working president of the Gujarat Congress—a post he alleged had little meaning in the party. Recently, Patel had also asserted that if he did join the BJP, it would not be on the condition that cases filed against him during the 2015 Patidar movement be dropped.
Patel had shared resignation letter on Twitter
Patel resigned from the Congress last week and said he was sure his decision would be welcomed by his colleagues and the people of Gujarat. "I believe that with this step, I will be able to work really positively for Gujarat in the future," Patel wrote on Twitter and shared his resignation letter addressed to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Lacerated Congress before quitting
Despite several attempts to "steer the Congress in the right direction, it has constantly been working against the interests of the country and the society," the 28-year-old leader had said. Congress "has been rejected in virtually every state because they have no roadmap to present to the people," he added. The disgruntled leader further said Congress can't be an alternative to leading the state.
Had praised Aam Aadmi Party too
Patel had earlier kept the option open of joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is riding high after clinching Punjab in the last Assembly elections. "Their (the AAP's) strategy is definitely better than the Congress's. That's what I was tired of telling the Congress," Patel had said while questioning his old party's tactics.
Patel's U-turn in six months
Patel's social post from December last year, in which he slammed the BJP for its "dirty politics," demonstrates the six-month turnaround. "Sardar Patel's dream was to empower farmers. Every Congress worker will work towards fulfilling this dream, and will fight against the dirty politics of BJP and RSS," he had said on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's death anniversary.