Congress on Saturday invited the face of Patidar movement in Gujarat, Hardik Patel to join hands against the BJP and contest elections.
Speaking to reporters, the state Congress chief, Bharatsinh Solanki said, “I appeal to Hardik to support the Congress during the polls. We are also ready to give him a ticket if he wants to fight elections in the future.”
Solanki also invited Thakor community leader Alpesh Thakor and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani to join hands against the ruling BJP in the upcoming assembly elections.
However, speaking to ANI, Patel said that he could not contest elections because of his age, but agreed with Congress to unite against the saffron party in the elections.
He said, “Constitutionally speaking, I can not contest the election and I don’t need to. Although, I believe we must unite against the BJP, this is not a BJP-Congress election. This is an election of six crore people of Gujarat.”
Patel, a popular face of resistance in Gujarat, has already urged his community to not vote for the BJP even if the party fielded his father in the assembly polls.
The young Patel has been hounded by the police in Gujarat and Rajasthan after he led a statewide agitation in 2015. More than a dozen members of Patel community were killed in police crackdown. Faced with a possibility of a setback in the assembly elections, the BJP had sacked the then state chief minister, Anandiben Patel, replacing her with Vijay Rupani.
The Election Commission may wait for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to complete his Gujarat visit on Sunday, when he’s likely to launch and inaugurate new projects before it announces the dates for the assembly elections.