‘State Party Has Failed’: Hardik Patel on Gujarat Civic Polls

Patel said that the Congress party did not organise a single public meeting ahead of the elections.

2 min read
Gujarat Congress leader Hardik Patel.

“One thing is clear; that the 219 seats that were won uncontested by BJP was due to mismanagement,” says Congress Youth Leader Hardik Patel on the recent Gujarat civic polls, in which the Congress party nosedived from 174 seats in 2015 to only 55 in 2021.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Patel stated that the Congress party did not organise a single public meeting for him ahead of the elections, adding that if the late Ahmed Patel were alive, the veteran would not have let the BJP gain 219 seats uncontested so far.

“Many times I tell the party that when I joined the Congress, I thought Congress would utilise me. Even there, I feel that my Pradesh high command, the state party in-charge has failed. Organise my meetings, I am ready to do 25 meetings a day. You tell me from today you have to do a 500 km padayatra, assign me something, I tell the party again and again, give me some work.”
Hardik Patel, Congress Working President of Gujarat, to The Indian Express.

Patel stated that if the Congress party involved him more in the elections, it could have prevented the poor performance in Surat.

Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) agitation in 2015 contributed significantly to the Congress party’s win in the Gujarat civic polls in 2017. However, this time around, PAAS representatives were reportedly upset with the Congress party for not fielding enough tickets, leading to PAAS pledging support to the Aam Aadmi Party, which won 27 seats in Surat, 25 of which were previously held by Congress

“Had they told me in the beginning that you have to do 25 rallies in Surat, this would not have been the result. The Congress party will have to do atma manthan (introspection) and openly speak up about where they failed or were weak… The 6.5 crore people of Gujarat don’t accept BJP, whether anyone believes or not. But the public wants that if Congress fights, they will vote for them.”
Hardik Patel, Congress Working President of Gujarat, reported The Indian Express.

With the Gujarat Assembly Elections due next year and AAP and AIMIM’s electoral wins in the state, the Congress party is no longer the main Opposition to the ruling party in the state.

“If you want to counter all these, come out on the streets and make your heads bloodied. Fight against the people in power, be bathed in blood. Not that you tell the SP (Superintendent of Police), ‘We will walk that much, then you can detain us.’ No. Let the SP do whatever he wants. If you have to march to the Governor’s place, march, be aggressive. If you do seva (service) you will get meva (fruit),” 
Hardik Patel, Congress Working President of Gujarat, reported The Indian Express.

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