Hardik Patel, who quit the Congress last week, tweeted this morning that he is about to “start a new chapter” and will work as a “small soldier” under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, making his switch to the BJP official.
“I am about to start a new chapter with feelings of national interest, regional interest and social interest. I will work as a small soldier in the massive work in national service under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said in a Hindi tweet.
News agency ANI later tweeted pictures of Mr Patel attending a puja.
Gujarat | Hardik Patel performs ‘pooja’ at his residence in Ahmedabad.
He will be joining Bharatiya Janata Party today. pic.twitter.com/AqMboWjs7e
— ANI (@ANI) June 2, 2022
NDTV had reported that Hardik Patel, who was catapulted into the political scene after he led the Patidar community’s agitation for reservation, will join the BJP today.
The 28-year-old Gujarat leader joined the Congress in 2019 with the Congress. He quit last month after writing a lacerating resignation note to Sonia Gandhi.
In the letter, he targeted Rahul Gandhi, saying “top leaders” were distracted by their mobile phones and Gujarat Congress leaders were more interested in arranging chicken sandwiches for them.
Hardik Patel had been denying that he is joining the BJP, but his praise for the party and its leadership told a different story.
Soon after quitting the Congress, he shut down speculation saying he “is not in the BJP yet” and has not taken any decision on joining either the BJP or the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
He also said he had “wasted” three years in the Congress.
“I am not in the BJP yet and have not taken any decision to go,” Hardik Patel told reporters, but at the same time, gave a shout-out to the BJP on a range of subjects including the Ayodhya verdict and the scrapping of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
NDTV had quoted BJP sources as saying that Hardik Patel would join the party soon.
The sources said he had been in talks with the BJP for two months.
A tweet by Mr Patel from December, in which he tore into the BJP for its “dirty politics”, shows the swift turnaround in six months.
Paying respects to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his death anniversary, Mr Patel had then said, “Sardar Patel’s dream was to empower farmers. Every Congress worker will work towards fulfilling this dream, will fight against the dirty politics of BJP and RSS,” he had then said.