A day after resigning from the Congress, Hardik Patel on Thursday, 19 May, stated that there has been no decision on joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), or any other party yet.
"I am not in BJP yet and have not taken any decision to go," he told news agency ANI.
On Wednesday, Patel quit the Congress, saying that it had constantly been working against the interests of India and the country's society.
Tweeting out the resignation letter, Patel said, "Today, I have mustered the courage to resign from all posts as well as the primary membership of the party. I believe that all my supporters and the people of Gujarat will stand by my decision. I also believe that following this decision, I will be able to work positively for Gujarat."
He also lashed out at the Congress, saying that its top leadership was more interested in their mobile phones, while the Gujarat Congress leaders payed more attention to arranging chicken sandwiches for them.
Party Has No Vision, Leaders Biased Against Gujarat
The party's Gujarat unit is too interested in caste-based politics, he also claimed, according to IANS.
Criticising the Congress, Patel said that the party never spoke on issues concerning Hindus, like the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) or the discovery of an alleged 'shivling' at the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.
"7-8 people have been running the Congress for 33 years. Activists like me travel 500-600 km daily. If I go among the people and try to know their situation, the big leaders here try to disrupt this effort by sitting in the AC chambers," Patel said, as reported by ANI.
He also said that the he had wasted three years of his career by joining the party and appealed to the people not to vote for the Congress as the party is not interested in serving the people.
"I wasted three years of my political life in Congress. If I had been not in Congress I could have worked better for Gujarat. Neither did I ever get an opportunity to work while being in the party nor did the Congress give me any work," he said, according to news agency ANI.
He said after state elections in 2022, the Congress may not be visible on Opposition benches, and people may try some other option.
‘Hardik Feared He May Go to Jail in Sedition Cases': Cong
Reacting to Patel's allegations, Congress Gujarat unit President Jagdish Thakor said in Rajkot on Thursday that Patel only stepped down from post as he feared going to jail in the sedition cases registered against him, as per PTI.
Talking to reporters, he said,
"Hardik feared that he may have to go to jail in sedition cases if he stays in Congress. Hence, to save himself from the possible punishment, he decided to quit Congress and he might join the BJP as well."
Thakor refuted Hardik Patel's claims that he was not given meaningful work and claimed that Congress had made him a "star campaigner" in the Assembly polls to five states held earlier this year.
He added, "Not just that. He was given the facility to travel in helicopters and planes. He was always given importance during the key national-level party meetings."
Thakor claimed that the party leadership had suspected this move about a month ago and alleged that Patel was in touch with the BJP.
"We also knew that he was in touch with the BJP. But we were trying to resolve the issue amicably because we were confident that he will not surrender so easily just out of fear of going to jail," he added.
(With inputs from ANI and IANS.)