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Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader, Hardik Patel is all set to contest Lok Sabha elections from Amreli constituency of Saurashtra region of Gujarat. However, it’s not decided yet if Hardik will contest elections on a political party ticket or as an independent candidate. But sources close to Hardik ensured that Hardik will be contesting against BJP. Congress had offered Amreli’s and Mehsana’s seats to Hardik but due to the ban on his entrance in Mehsana constituency, it’s likely that Hardik will contest election from Amreli. Amit Chavda, state’s Congress president made clear that there had been no official statement from any of the two sides.
Hardik Patel was banned from entering Mehsana when he was convicted by a court in Visnagar of Mehsana district in connection with rioting and arson case in which Patidar protesters vandalized the office of a local BJP MLA, Rushikesh Patel during 2015 quota riots. However, Hardik Patel is out on bail now as the court suspended its conviction which bans his entrance in Mehsana as one of the bail conditions.
Amreli, one of the key districts of Gujarat and influenced by the Patidar quota agitation, has its all 5 assembly seats represented by Congress. Even the Amreli’s Panchayat is being ruled by Congress. So, Congress offering Amreli’s seat to Hardik was a planned move in order to strengthen its fight against the BJP government.
Hardik earlier declared that he won’t contest in elections until Patidar community gets the OBC reservation. One of his close aides stated that “Now, that the constitutional reservation has been attained, the promise stands fulfilled, and therefore, Hardik has made up his mind of fighting the elections, most probably from Amreli.”
Hardik’s wife, Krinjel Patel tweeted “To date, Hardik Patel did not have politics in the name of society. They not only gave the benefit of reservation to society but also to all poor society. Now Hardik Patel, a big fighter for farmers and youth, has to fight and give rights to the disadvantaged people”, this Tuesday.