Hardik Patel, the working president of the Congress in Gujarat, has dropped the party name from his Twitter bio, appearing to hint at his exit just months before elections in the state.
“Working President of the Gujarat Congress” is now missing from Hardik Patel’s bio, which says: “Proud Indian Patriot. Social and Political Activist. Committed to a better India.”
Over the past few years, Congress leaders who have exited the party have usually dropped the first hint by changing their Twitter bio.
The 28-year-old Patidar leader has been complaining of being “ignored” by the Congress and its top leaders in Gujarat. He even compared it to the feeling of a “groom forced into nasbandi (vasectomy)”.
He has so far denied, however, that he is on his way out of the party he joined in 2019.
Last month, Hardik Patel worried his party bosses even more when he went a step further and praised the BJP, saying, “some things are good about the BJP and we must acknowledge that.”
“The recent decisions that BJP has taken politically, we have to accept that they have the strength to take such steps. I believe that without even taking their side or praising them, we can at least acknowledge the truth. If the Congress wants to become strong in Gujarat, then we have to improve our decision-making skills and decision-making power,” Hardik Patel told NDTV on April 22.
He insisted he was not in talks with the BJP. “No, there are no talks. I am not thinking of the BJP and I am not talking to the BJP. The discussion is about the people of Gujarat and in the interest of the people and I have to do something good for them,” he said.
Some reports suggest he has been in talks with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is pitching itself as the better opposition in Gujarat compared to the Congress.
“I am not tilting to any side. When there is a lack of will power then there are many options before you. I don’t have shortage of will power and I will work for the benefit of the state. And if I have to take any decision in this regard, I will take it,” he said.
Hardik Patel led an agitation of the powerful “Patidar” community for quota in Gujarat in 2015 and joined the Congress just before the 2019 national election. The party scored in the 2017 Gujarat election, putting up a strong challenge to the ruling BJP, but the Patidar community did not support the party in the 2019 election or local body polls.