Hardik Patel, a Gujarat Patidar politician who just left the Congress, is slated to join the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday, saying he will work as a “little soldier” to serve the nation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
“I’m going to start a new chapter today with feelings of national interest, state interest, public interest, and social interest. Under the leadership of India’s victorious Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, I shall work as a tiny soldier in the noble mission of nation service” Patel tweeted.
Hardik rose to prominence in politics in 2015, when he led the Patidar reservation agitation in Gujarat, developing a campaign in the run-up to the state Assembly elections in 2017.
Patel initially sought OBC recognition for the Patidar group. Following that, it became a demand for reservations for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS).
During the Patidar quota agitation, the Anandiben Patel-led Gujarat government continued to slap cases on Hardik, accusing him of fomenting trouble.
Anandiben Patel, the state’s then-chief minister, was caught off guard by his arrival on the political scene. Anandiben Patel announced her retirement from the position in 2016.
Patel joined the Congress Party in the presence of Rahul Gandhi ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In the year 2020, he was appointed as the working president of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee. However, he left the party in 2022 after accusing Congress leadership of ignoring him when making critical choices.
The entrance of Hardik into the BJP is crucial because the Assembly elections are scheduled for this year.