Jagdish Thakor, the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee chief has said that Hardik Patel quit the party because he feared being jailed in the sedition cases filed against him.
Earlier this week, Hardik Patel, a Patidar leader representing Gujarat in the Congress, resigned from the grand old party, reportedly, after feeling ignored. Speaking to ANI, Jagdish Thakor said, “The party has given him everything. The party had made him a “star campaigner” in the recently-held assembly polls to five states and had given him a helicopter as well. Party has given a very high post and yet he said that the party has not given anything then I think it’s not true.”
According to Thakor, whatever Patel said during his press conference and what was written in his resignation letter was scripted by the ruling BJP government in the state. “Now Patel will be speaking only what BJP will ask him to speak. Even the language of his letter was not his own but was drafted at the BJP office,” he said. “Hardik feared that he may have to go to jail in sedition cases if he stays in Congress. Hence, to save himself from the possible punishment, he decided to quit Congress and he might join the BJP as well,” claimed Thakor.
The Gujarat PCC president added that Patel’s resignation would not negatively affect the party. “Earlier also many people left the party but it remained the same. Now also there will be no harm to the party. We will do more rallies in Surat, Bartoli, and Saurashtra with Rahul Gandhi. All allegations made by Hardik are false including against Rahul Gandhi and there is no truth in it,” he added.
In response to a question regarding Patel’s future, Congress leader Anand Sharma said that Hardik would be released from prison and will enjoy his life. As a working president of the Gujarat Congress in 2020, Hardik Patel had been elevated to the Patidar leadership after joining the party in 2019.
He resigned from the party on Wednesday, claiming that Gujarat Congress leaders were less concerned with addressing Gujarat’s real problems, and were more focused on making sure that Delhi-bound leaders in Gujarat were fed a “chicken sandwich” on time.
According to Patel, the party is constantly “exerting its anger” on Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, the country’s top industrialists. Those industrialists, he said, were successful because they worked hard, and they could not simply be targeted because the prime minister’s home state is Gujarat.
“A businessman rises due to his or her own hard work. You can’t abuse Adani or Ambani every time. If the PM is from Gujarat, then why take out your anger about this on Ambani and Adani? This was just a way to mislead people,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Hardik Patel also said that he wasted three years of his political career in the Congress, and could have worked better for Gujarat had he not been with the party. “Neither did I ever get an opportunity to work while in the party nor did Congress give me any work,” he told ANI.
Patel, who made it clear that he is unhappy with the party, also took a jab at Rahul Gandhi. He was branded as an “opportunist” by the Congress and accused of being in touch with the BJP for six years to ensure that the police cases brought against him during the Patidar quota row would be withdrawn.
Gujarat will hold its assembly election later this year.