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Won’t Join Congress, But Will Work to Defeat BJP: Hardik Patel

Hardik Patel speaks exclusively to The Quint on Gujarat elections, Patidar agitation, the Congress, and more.

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Amid speculation of a ‘secret’ meeting between Hardik Patel and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, the Patidar leader made it clear that he doesn’t plan on joining the ranks of the Congress but will work to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Quint spoke with the Patidar leader during our trip to Gujarat for our ongoing election series #KemChoGujarat.

If any party can stand against the BJP then it’s the Congress. So why shouldn’t I talk to them? It is important to know what their plans are for the state. I have a very positive feeling about them. I urge everyone to stand up against the BJP otherwise the democracy of the country will be ruined.
Hardik Patel, Patidar leader
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‘Congress Chor Hai, BJP Mahachor Hai’

In a recent rally, Patel was heard saying that the Congress is a ‘chor’ (thief) but the BJP is a ‘mahachor’ (bigger thief). When asked his comment, Hardik tried to justify the same.

I did say Congress is a party of thieves, but the BJP is a party of bigger thieves. But, I feel that the Congress has been out of power for 25 years so maybe if they come to power, they will govern properly.

Patel added that he will not join the Congress, but would rather work for the public.

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‘I Am Not Congress Agent’

The Patidar leader has often been called the B-team of the Congress in Gujarat. Patel rubbished these statements and said that those who are making such statements are, in fact, BJP’s agents.

If he was wrong, why would the public gather in his support in such huge numbers? he asked.

I will work on my agenda and try to do something positive. People keep calling me agents of various parties. Yes, I am an agent but the public’s agent. People may keep commenting but I don’t care about them. If I was wrong, then I wouldn’t have received such huge public support
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‘OBCs Will Support Us’

Alongside the Patidar leader, another leader who has taken Gujarat politics by storm is OBC leader Alpesh Thakor.

Thakor joined the Congress on Monday, 23 October, in the presence of Rahul Gandhi. In an interview with The Quint the next day, Thakor questioned why the Patidars, being an affluent community in Gujarat, need to ask for reservation.

Meanwhile, Patel, on being asked whether his demand for Patidar reservation was in conflict with OBC reservation, said:

If your intentions are right, then you can accommodate reservation for all the communities in need. The Congress can implement reservations when they come to power, if they want to… But I would also like to tell you that OBCs are with us and we are confident they will support us.
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With Thakor already in the ranks of Congress party, will Patel’s support rejuvenate them in Gujarat?

Video Editor: Sandeep Suman

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