Hardik Patel, the popular Patidar (Patel) leader in Gujarat, has resigned from the Congress party. Sharing his resignation letter on his official Twitter account, he said he resigned today from the post of working president of the Gujarat Congress Committee and primary membership of the Congress Party.
Hardik Patel rose to prominence in 2015 when he led a Patidar movement that demanded quotas for the community under the economically backward category. A popular leader in the community particularly among the youth, he was convinced by the beleaguered Congress party in Gujarat to join the party in the hope that he would help them regain some ground in the upcoming 2022 State Assembly election. His departure could be a setback for the party.
He released a detailed, no-holds-barred note on why he was quitting the party. Addressing it to Sonia Gandhi, Congress president, he said: “Whenever I met with the senior leadership, I always felt that leaders were not really interested in hearing about problems concerning the people of Gujarat, but were more engrossed in what messages they had received on their mobile and other such trivial things.
“It is unfortunate that workers like us who travel 500-600 km in a single day to meet people of the State find that the big leaders of the Congress in Gujarat are more focussed on ensuring that chicken sandwich for leaders who have come from Delhi is delivered on time! Wherever I went among the youth, I was always asked why I was with a party which constantly insulted Gujaratis—be it in the business sector, in matters of religion, and even in politics.”
The youth leader goes on to accuse Congress members in the State of weakening the party and diluting public issues which needed urgent addressing. He said: “Political thoughts can be different but this kind of a sell-out by our leaders for so many years is a betrayal of the people of Gujarat…. I feel sad and disgusted at the same time as almost everyone in Gujarat is aware of this. Everyone who is active in political and social life must keep working for the people but it is almost like the Congress does not want to do anything good for Gujarat. Even when people like me wanted to do something good for the State, all I and my community faced was ridicule and contempt. When I joined the Congress, I did not know that the hearts and minds of leadership of the Congress are filled with such hatred towards our country India, towards my community and especially towards the youth!”
Hardik Patel is yet to make an announcement on his next move. He was slated to contest his first-ever election on a Congress ticket. At a recent Congress rally led by Rahul Gandhi, senior Congress leader, Patel was apparently not given enough importance and observers believe that could have been the final nail in the coffin.