Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday said he will “definitely” contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported. Patel turned 25 last year and is now eligible to stand for the Lok Sabha polls.
Patel did not specify if he would join a political party or contest as an independent candidate. “It is not yet decided,” he told The Week. “I did not do politics till we got 10% reservation. Now I feel there is a need to do something for the youth and farmers.”
Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti spokesperson Nikhil Savani told Hindustan Times that Patel will soon decide on which party’s support he wants.
Unidentified officials said the Congress may support Patel by not fielding a candidate against him. The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which is headed by Patel, had supported the Congress in the 2015 local body polls and the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections.
The Congress welcomed Patel’s decision to contest the elections. “He will make a good contestant against the Modi government and also as he represents the youth, who are struggling to get jobs,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Bharat Pandya said Patel’s candidacy will benefit the BJP. “When the Congress has not fulfilled any of the 17 demands made by him earlier, he cannot go back to his community and ask for votes,” Pandya told Hindustan Times. “This announcement is a gimmick, which won’t work when the Gujarat voter has made up its mind to make Modi the PM again.”
Patel said the agitation of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti will continue till the 10% reservation for economically weaker sections in general category is implemented and the Patidar youth derive benefit from it, reported IANS. “We have succeeded in getting the Centre to announce reservation for the upper castes but we will wait till the Supreme Court approves it,” he said.