Activist Hardik Patel on Tuesday said that he will join the Bharatiya Janata Party on June 2, ANI reported.
He made the announcement nearly two weeks after he quit as the Gujarat Congress working president and resigned from the primary membership of the party. The development came months ahead of the Assembly elections in Gujarat.
Yagnesh Dave, a spokesperson for the BJP in Gujarat, also confirmed that Patel would join the saffron party on June 2, PTI reported.
In a resignation letter addressed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on May 18, Patel had accused the party of working against the interests of society and the country. He claimed that Congress leaders at the central and state level were only interested in opposing any steps taken by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.
“Be it the Ram mandir in Ayodhya, revocation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, implementation of GST [Goods and Services Tax] – India wanted solutions for these subjects for a long time and Congress only played the role of a roadblock and was always only obstructive,” Patel alleged.
The activist accused the senior Congress leadership of lacking seriousness and being unwilling to listen to the problems of the residents of Gujarat. “Whenever our country faced challenges and when the Congress needed leadership, Congress leaders were enjoying abroad,” he remarked.
On May 19, Patel accused the party of not speaking about problems concerning Hindus. He claimed that the Congress is never vocal about matters such as the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Ram temple in Ayodhya or the claimed discovery of a shivling – a representation of Hindu deity Shiva – at the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.
On April 22, he had praised the BJP for its “terrific decision-taking” leadership and said all his options are open. However, Patel had at the time denied that he was joining the saffron party.
Congress leader Jagdish Thakor claimed that Patel had left the party as he was afraid that he might have to go to jail in sedition cases.