Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who shot to fame by spearheading a quota stir in Gujarat, today joined the Congress in the presence of Rahul Gandhi during the party’s Working Committee meet in Ahmedabad.
Patel had made his intention to contest Lok Sabha elections from Gujarat’s Jamnagar constituency last week. The Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat is currently represented by Poonamben Maadam of the BJP.
Hardik Patel’s outfit Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which was at the forefront of agitation for reservation benefit in government jobs and college admissions, had declared its support to the Congress party in the local body elections in 2015 and assembly polls in 2017.
The 25-year-old leader’s plans to contest the Lok Sabha election, the schedule of which was announced by the Election Commission of India on Sunday, may be possible only if he clears legal hurdles. 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.
The Congress is focussing on Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, and had given a tough fight to the ruling party in the last assembly polls in the state.