South Asian Insider
Hardik Patel to contest Lok Sabha polls, Lucknow announcement stirs up Gujarat
(By a Staff Reporter) - Patidar leader Hardik Patel’s announcement to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, months after he attained the eligible age of 25 years, evoked a mixed response in political circles of Gujarat. The firebrand leader, who has been spearheading the agitation for OBC status to his Patidar community since 2015, declared his much awaited debut in Lucknow. The announcement, made away from his home state, has generated quite a bit of curiosity among his supporters as well as opponents. While Hardik chose not to make public as yet whether he would go solo or join any political party and the constituency he plans to contest from, sources close to the young leader said he could opt for Amreli in Saurashtra. According to sources, the Congress may support him by not fielding a candidate against him. Up in arms against the BJP government over reservation benefits in government job and college admissions, Hardik’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) outfit had supported the Congress in 2015 local body and the 2017 assembly elections.
“He (Hardik) has announced his plans of contesting elections in Lucknow. We understand that he will soon decide on which party’s support he wants,” said PAAS spokesperson Nikhil Savani.
After addressing a rally in Rajasthan on Tuesday, Hardik for the first time officially acknowledged his plans of entering electoral politics in an interview to a local daily.
Hardik’s former aides, however, see red in the way he made the announcement.
“Why did he make the announcement outside Gujarat?” asked Dinesh Bambhania, a former supporter.
He went on to add that Hardik was most likely going to contest from Amreli which is a stronghold of the Congress. “So the move is not going to benefit the Congress.”
He also said that Hardik has betrayed the community that so far supported him, as Patidars’ demand of OBC status and justice to 13 youths who died during the 2015 agitation has not been met yet. Congress welcomed the decision. “We welcome the decision of Hardik to contest 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. The Congress in 2017 won all five assembly seats under the Amreli Lok Sabha constituency. Amreli and adjoining Junagadh districts have been a Congress stronghold. The number of Patidars there is significant, which largely restricted the BJP to 99 seats in the 182-member assembly. BJP however said that Hardik’s candidacy would benefit the BJP. “His candidacy will only benefit the BJP as Hardik now stands exposed. 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. This announcement is a gimmick, which wont work when the Gujarat voter has made up its mind to make Modi the PM again,” BJP spokesman Bharat Pandya said.
Two stars fight, and the image is stunning
Stars that have companions aren't always friendly to them, as evidenced by a stellar confrontation witnessed by astronomers. They studied the binary ...
Sex workers finally get 'honourable' funerals in Bangladesh
(News Agencies)-Often treated as less than human in life, there has been little dignity in death for the sex workers of one of the world's biggest b...
In tears again, victim's mother pleads for death warrant for 4 convicts
Demanding fresh death warrant, Asha Devi said, "I am here from one and half years, I am here and waiting for them to avail their legal remedies. Howev...
Delhi Police arrests 10 students in Gargi college molestation case
A case was registered against the ten accused under sections 452, 354, 509, 34 of the IPC at Hauz Khas Police Station. (News Agencies)-The Delhi ...
In AAP's victory, a lesson in transformative politics
The extraordinary political process that Delhi has witnessed this past month represents at once the maturing of the electorate within this "ordinary c...
How the AAP won, with some help from the BJP
Despite a patchy track record, the AAP captured the narrative. The Delhi BJP?had nothing to offer voters Delhi's outsized influence on the nationa...
Jammu and Kashmir: Detention is not the answer
Booking the former chief ministers under PSA is counterproductive The decision to book former Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) chief ministers Omar Abdulla...
Politics is shifting to the centre-right. Delhi proves it
Endorsing the religious practices of the majority, a strong nationalist pitch and populist welfarism is the new normal. Delhi is a riddle wrapped ...
Arvind Kejriwal appointed Delhi CM, 6 ministers to take oath
The 6 ministers who will take oath along with Arvind Kejriwal on 16 Feb are Manish Sisodia, Satyender Jain, Gopal Rai, Kailash Gehlot, Imran Hussain a...
Trump administration goes to war with states over Immigration
The Justice Department sues California and New Jersey to overcome enforcement roadblocks. The Trump administration dramatically escalated its war ...
© All rights Reserved. The south Asian, Published Weekly from New york.