AHMEDABAD: Hitting out at former Congress leader Alpesh Thakor, Hardik Patel on Saturday said that Alpesh failed to handle the respect and power given to him by the Congress party.
"Congress party had given so much respect and power but he could not handle it. He started playing blame games," Hardik, who had joined Congress few weeks ago, told ANI.
Thakor had joined the Congress ahead of Gujarat Assembly poll in 2017 but he decided to resign from all party posts on Wednesday.
Hardik Patel also lashed out at the BJP, accusing the party of making all efforts to stop him from contesting the Lok Sabha poll.
"I am accepting the decision of the High Court. BJP lawyers tried their best so that I could not contest the ongoing elections. Congress wanted to take me to the Parliament. I am a 25-year-old young man and many elections will come in the future," he said.
It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had refused to urgently hear a plea filed by 25-year-old Hardik seeking suspension of his conviction in a case of rioting and arson in Gujarat's Mehsana. The incident took place in 2015 when the Patidar quota stir was at its height and Hardik was leading the stir.
The Gujarat High Court had suspended Hardik's jail sentence in this case in August 2018 but the court did not stay his conviction. Hardik had joined Congress on March 12 and the party had named him as its contest from Jamnagar in Gujarat in the upcoming Lok Sabha poll.
Referring to the mention of Congress' pledge to amend sedition law, Hardik said, "BJP misguided the people. Congress said to remove sedition charges but will not tolerate anti-nationalism. The BJP does not have any issue to fight the elections that is why they always come with issues like anti-nationalism."
Hardik noted that Patidars across Gujarat were happy with his decision to join the Congress party. "There are a huge number of Patidars who like me and my leadership. Patidar community is happy with my decision of joining the Congress. I believe they will support me and will help in fighting this battle."
The young Patidar leader added that he will hold 42 rallies in the run-up to the Lok Sabha poll and will ensure that the Congress win the poll. He remarked that the Congress is in favour of the poor and farmers and party president Rahul Gandhi will bring 'achhe din' for Indians.
It is to be noted that the BJP had won all 26 seats in Gujarat in 2014 Lok Sabha poll and the party is hopeful for repeating its feat this time too. Experts maintain that the BJP's decision to field its party's chief Amit Shah from Gandhinagar will prove a masterstroke for the party and it will help the party in the upcoming poll. On the other hand, the Congress is buoyed by its good show in the last Assembly poll and the party is trying its best to avoid a whitewash this time.
Polling for all Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat is scheduled to take place in a single phase on April 23. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
(with ANI inputs)