New Delhi: Months after being disgruntled over his role in the Gujarat Congress, the party’s state working president Hardik Patel Wednesday resigned from all posts and primary membership of the party.
The resignation comes ahead of assembly polls in Gujarat scheduled to happen at the end of the year.
“I’ve mustered the courage today to resign from all posts and primary membership of the party,” 28-year-old Patel said in a Twitter post.
“I have full faith that this decision of mine will be welcomed by all my well-wishers and the people of Gujarat. I believe that after this decision I will be able to work for Gujarat in a positive way,” he added.
Hardik Patel, the face of the Patidar reservation agitation in Gujarat who joined the Congress in 2019, had been vocal about feeling neglected by the party and not being involved in its decision-making process.
According to sources in the Congress party, his discontent was primarily regarding talks of another Patel face – the influential leader of the Kodaldham Trust Naresh Patel – possibly being inducted into the party ahead of the elections.
‘No seriousness within party’s central leadership’
In his resignation letter to Congress’ interim president Sonia Gandhi, Patel said that Congress was “restricted to protest politics” which he claimed people didn’t want.
“In the last 3 years, I’ve found that the party has been restricted to protest politics, whereas the people of the country don’t want protest politics. They want an option that thinks about the future, that has the power to take the country forward,” he said.
Patel further wrote that whether it is the GST or the revocation of Article 370, Ayodhya Ram Mandir or the CAA-NRC issue, Congress has “only been an impediment when the country wanted solutions”.
“Whether it is about the country, Gujarat or my own Patel community, the Congress party’s stand has only been limited to opposing the central government. The Congress party has been rejected by people of all states because the party has been unable to provide a basic roadmap to the people”, he said.
“There also seems to be no seriousness within the central leadership of the party with regard to any issue. Whenever I met the leadership, it seemed like more than the people of Gujarat and the issues of the party, their focus was on their mobile phones and other things,” the Patidar leader hit out.
In an apparent reference to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Patel said “our leader was abroad” whenever the country “was in trouble or the Congress was in dire need of strong leadership”. “The leadership acts like it hates Gujarat and its people. In such a situation, how can the party think that the people of Gujarat will see them as an alternative?” he added.
Hardik further alleged that when he was conducting 500-600 km long yatras at his own expense, the senior leadership in Gujarat was only bothered about “ensuring that chicken sandwiches for leaders who have come from Delhi are delivered on time”.
He also said that he thought the party had “broken the trust of the youth”.
The Congress is the principal opposition party in Gujarat and is hoping to wrest power from the incumbent BJP government in the state.
(Edited by Monami Gogoi)