The Congress on Saturday appointed Hardik Patel as the working president of the party’s Gujarat unit. He will take over the position from Amit Chavda. The announcement of Patel’s appointment to the top post came after a meeting of Congress leaders earlier in the day.
Patel rose to fame for leading a movement to demand caste-based reservation for students and job aspirants belonging to the Patidar community in 2015. He formally joined the Congress in March 2019. He was however banned from contesting the Lok Sabha elections because of a rioting case.
In July 2018, a court in Gujarat’s Mehsana city had sentenced Patel and two of his aides to two years in jail for rioting and arson in Visnagar town in 2015 during a protest led by him to seek reservations. The High Court had later granted Patel bail and suspended his jail sentence, but his conviction remained valid.
The Gujarat Police had also filed a sedition case against Patel in 2015. Patel was allegedly caught on a video on October 3 asking his followers to kill “two-three” policemen instead of dying by suicide for the cause of reservation for the Patels.