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Patidar leader Hardik Patel joins Congress, may contest Lok Sabha polls

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Ahmedabad, Mar 12: Firebrand Patidar leader Hardik Patel joined the Congress party on Tuesday in the presence of party president Rahul Gandhi. He is likely to be fielded from the Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat.

Hardik Patel

In Jamnagar, where Satvara, Patels, Ahirs, Muslims, Dalits and Kshatriyas are important caste constituents, the BJP is working on a plan to gain their support.

The constituency in the Saurashtra region has nearly 2.5 lakh Patel voters, and the Congress intends to give the BJP a tough fight by fielding him.

All this forms the backdrop for the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting to be held in Ahmedabad on Monday to mark the historic Dandi March.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP meet on Mar 18 to finalise candidates

There will be a public rally after the CWC meeting in which Mr Patel will formally take the plunge into politics.

The influential Patidar leader had on Sunday announced that he will join Congress on March 12.

He has been convicted and sentenced to two years in a riot case connected to the 2015 Patidar quota agitation, which bars him from contesting polls.

In July last year, the sessions court of Visnagar in Mehsana district had sentenced him to two years imprisonment for rioting and arson which took place in Visnagar town in 2015.

While his jail term has been stayed by the court, his conviction has not been suspended.

Patel has filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court seeking a stay on his conviction by a lower court.

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