Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel has made it amply clear in recent days that all is not well within the party. He, however, has repeatedly rejected speculation of a possible move to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Speaking to CNN-News18 on Friday, Hardik said he was heading to the Congress chintan shivir (brainstorming camp) in Udaipur after fulfilling some “pre-arranged obligations”.
He also rejected reports of Rahul Gandhi snubbing him recently, saying that the Wayanad MP had a busy schedule during his Gujarat visit and the two could not meet but he expects to discuss issues of the poll-bound state with him as soon as the chintan shivir ends.
Asked what he wants from the Congress, the Patidar leader said he wants the party to clarify his role and responsibilities. He also added that he is not one to seek a post like chief ministership.
Speaking about the discord in the Congress units in many parts of the country, which also contributed to the party’s recent electoral defeats, Hardik said, “In several states, there is a situation where senior leaders at the top are not able to work and the young leaders who want to work are not being allowed to.”
The faction fights need to stop and leaders, both young and old, need to work together in states like Gujarat for the Congress to bolster itself, he maintained.
On being asked whether he had shared his concerns with the Congress high command, he said, “I have never sought out time to speak with Sonia Gandhi ji. We inform Rahul ji and Priyanka ji about everything and we hope that they will protect us and help us.”
Hardik also said that he is a grassroots politician who has received the love of the people and that he only passes on to the party leadership the demands and concerns of the public.
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