NEW DELHI : Rubbishing speculations of him joining the BJP, Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel today said rumours are part of politics and his complaints about the affairs of the party in the state are regular internal issues which he hopes would be resolved soon to give the party a much-needed boost as it prepares for the upcoming assembly elections.
Naming Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Sonia Gandhi, he said he does not have any issues with them and what’s most important is that the party give responsibility, without favoritism, to leaders who are true to the people and want to work on the ground. “We are different kinds of politicians because we don’t come from political families. We have worked hard and made an identity for ourselves in Gujarat. We don’t want to pressurize the leadership before elections to get a lucrative post,” he told NDTV.
What’s important is that you give me some clearly defined responsibility, the fiery young leader said, stressing that people have a lot of expectations as it has been two years since his joining the party and the assembly elections are just six months away. “I have travelled among the people and tried to understand their hopes and aspirations. I have travelled to 8,000 villages,” Mr Patel said as he made his case for a clearly defined leadership role.
Pointing out that the Congress has for the first time since 1990 won more than 80 seats in the state, he suggested that his joining the party at a time when not many were, and consolidating “lakhs of Patel voters” contributed to Congress having a strong opposition presence in the state. “If you have made me the working president then you should also clearly define the responsibilities as you have done in all other states. It has been two years, why can’t you set my responsibilities? They have not organized even one big press conference with me in the state yet,” he said, frustrated by the ambiguity attached to his post.
Mr Patel said Rahul Gandhi had messaged him around 15 days back asking what the issue was, and that he freely shared it with him. However, there was no response from the high command. “He was in Gujarat recently but I think he was very busy. He will get back to me once he is free,” Hardik Patel said.
mid speculation of his exit, Gujarat Congress Working President Hardik Patel attended a public meeting organised by the party and insisted that he is still very much a party man. Speaking to Media India Today at the Adivasi Satyagraha Rally in Dahod, Hardik Patel said with a smile, “Why will I not come to the event, I am working president of Congress. When central leadership comes, I will definitely come. I am very much in the Congress party.”
While Speaking to India Today at the Adivasi Satyagraha Rally in Dahod, Hardik Patel said with a smile, “Why will I not come to the event, I am working president of Congress. When central leadership comes, I will definitely come. I am very much in the Congress party.” When asked if he will raise his disaffection with the state leadership before former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Patel gave an oblique reply: “When central leadership is here, they will definitely speak to state leadership. And not just me, they will discuss other things as well.”
Last month, the Congress leader sent the rumour mills churning when he apparently removed the party name from his bio on social media and changed his photo to one of him sporting a saffron shawl. Quelling the rumours that it signalled his exit from Congress, Patel said, “Everybody changes WhatsApp DP [display picture], sometimes with their wife, sometimes with their mom. I have just changed from working president to social and political activist, what is wrong with that? I am with Congress.”
( Bureau Report with Media Inputs)