AAP opens doors for Hardik Patel; will he quit Congress?
New Delhi, Apr 15: Just two days after Hardik Patel complained about Congress sidelining him, Aam Aadmi Party Gujarat chief Gopal Italia on Friday offered him to join his party;
The AAP Gujarat Chief said that Patel should join a "like-minded party" like his as Congress has no place for dedicated people like Patel.
Speaking to ANI, the AAP state chief said, "If Hardik Patel is not liking in Congress, he should join a like-minded party like AAP. Instead of complaining to Congress, wasting his time, he should contribute here... A party like Congress would not have a place for dedicated people like him."
Nonetheless, Patel has denied the rumours which claimed that he was leaving Congress. "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," Patel said.
Patel 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 emerged as the leader of the Patidar agitation demanding reservation for the community in Gujarat in 2015 and later joined Congress.
Expressing displeasure over the Gujarat Congress' "style of functioning", party leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday claimed that he was sidelined in the state unit and the leadership is not willing to utilise his skills. Interestingly, Hardik, who is the state Congress working president, expressed his grouse a day after he hinted at contesting elections after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction in a 2015 rioting and arson case.
Hardik claimed that the Patidar quota agitation helped Congress win a significant number of seats in the elections to local bodies in 2015 and the 2017 Assembly polls when the opposition party had won 77 constituents in the 182-member House. "But what happened after that? Many in Congress also feel that Hardik was not properly utilised by the party after 2017. It may be because some people in the party would think that I would come in their way after 5 or 10 years if I am given significance today," claimed Patel, who became working president of Gujarat in 2020.