Hardik Patel quits Congress, says its top leaders behave as if they hate Gujarat and Gujaratis
Ahmedabad: Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who joined the Congress three years ago, on Wednesday resigned from the party, accusing its top leadership of behaving as if they hated Gujarat and Gujaratis.
In his resignation letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, which comes ahead of this year's state Assembly polls, Patel (28) said he was quitting as the Gujarat Congress working president and from the party's primary membership.
Patel wrote of his disappointment when party workers like him travelled 500-600 km a day to attend a party meeting and discuss issues but found the leaders busy trying to ensure that some senior Congress leader from Delhi was served his chicken sandwich on time.
Whenever I tried to draw the attention of party leaders towards pressing issues of Gujarat, it seemed they were more focused on their mobile phone screens and other things, Patel said, describing lack of seriousness about all issues as a major problem with the Congress' senior leadership.
Some leaders were enjoying abroad when the party and the country needed them, he said.
The Congress accused Patel of singing the BJP's tune. Congress MP Shaktisinh Gohil said these are not the allegations of someone who has quit the Congress, but of the BJP.
Youth Congress president Srinivas BV posted a video of Rahul Gandhi with a cryptic message saying, "Those who stand by truth stand with ideology." Patel is the latest Congress leader to leave the party. Those who quit the party recently include former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, Amarinder Singh, Ashwani Kumar and RPN Singh, all long-time leaders of the party.
In his resignation letter, Patel claimed the Congress "only played to the role of a roadblock" over certain key issues in the country and was "merely reduced to opposing everything".
Patel, who recently praised the BJP, claimed that despite several attempts to steer the Congress in the right direction, the party has constantly been working "against the interests of my country and our society".
"Hence, I wish to draw your attention to certain very important issues...Over the last three years, I have found that the Congress and its leadership, both at the central and state levels, have been merely reduced to opposing everything. Be it the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, revocation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, the implementation of GST, India wanted a solution to these issues for a long time and the Congress only played the role of a roadblock, he said in the letter.
When it came to issues related to India, Gujarat and the Patidar community, the Congress's only stand was to oppose whatever the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi did, he said in an apparent indication of his next political innings ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections.
"The Congress today has been rejected in almost every state of India, because the party and its leadership have not been able to present a basic road map to the people, Patel said.
The lack of seriousness about all issues is a major problem with the party's senior leadership. Whenever I met senior leaders, I always felt that they were not really interested in hearing about problems concerning the people of Gujarat, he said.
Patel had gained prominence in 2015 after he led the agitation seeking reservation for the Patidar community in the state.
He was made the Gujarat Congress working president in July 2020.