In a stinging attack on his former party the next day Leave it, Hardik Patel On Thursday, the Congress alleged that the Congress is denigrating those who have resigned by claiming that they are doing so for money or because they are afraid of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. But, he added, the party does not bother understanding the problems these leaders face or the issues they raise.
At a press conference, a Former Congressional Patidar leader appointed MLAs Alpesh Thakor, who was once a competitor, and Asha Patel, one of his comrades who died in December. Both resigned from the party in 2019 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
“Why don’t you understand anyone’s pain? Why don’t you sit with them? When a lot of MLAs in Gujarat resign, you say they were bought out. Why didn’t you say, ‘He must have had some problems and he must have left because I couldn’t understand the problem.'” Whether it’s about Alpesh Thakor or Ashaben Patel, who is no longer around, or about MLAs in Saurashtra. All these people stopped being miserable after being bothered. Because these people want to work for the common people, said Hardek.
Alpesh Thakur has come into the limelight as a leader of the Thakur community, which has been labeled another backward group (OBC), while opposing Hardik’s 2015 agitation demanding OBC status for the Patidar community. After that, he joined the Congress and officially joined the party in the presence of Rahul Gandhi in October 2017.
Albish was elected to the assembly from the Radanpur constituency in that year’s election but resigned from the House of Representatives in July 2019 after voting against the party’s whip in the Rajya Sabha elections for two seats. Congress MLA Dhavalsinh Zala from Bayadh in Aravalli District joined Thakur in a counter-vote before resigning as legislator.
Both joined the BJP. While joining the ruling party, Albish accused Congress of betraying him and likened it to a “weak school”. He claimed that he had been distracted by the “beautiful school building” but added that he had returned to the “cultured gurukul”.
Albish competed in the Radanpur by-election but lost to his party’s former candidate, Raghu Desai.
Asha Patel, a close aide of Hardik during the agitation of the Patidar stake, lost the assembly elections from Aungha constituency in Mehsana district in 2012. Five years later, it turned out to be a giant killer by defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP MLA) and six times previously. Minister Narayan Patel from the same seat.
In February 2019, months before Albish’s resignation, Asha resigned from the Assembly as well as from Congress. In her resignation letter to then party chief Rahul Gandhi, Asha said she was resigning due to “prevalent infighting” in Congress and because the leadership ignored her. She claimed that her representation of the senior leadership on the situation in the Gujarat unit was being ignored, and added that she did not see Congress growing more in the state. After that, she joined the BJP and was re-elected from Ongha.
Asked about Hardik’s allegations, Gujarat Congress spokesman Manish Doshi told the Indian Express that “His allegations are completely false. This is just a pretext under which he is looking for opportunities to join a rival party (BJP). Hardik is only talking about the text which It was given to him by the BJP. The Congress has never slandered any leader who has left the party. And all the leaders who have left Congress have done so to fulfill their ambitions or to address their personal problems.”