Hardik Patel has joined the Shiv Sena and will be the face of the party in Gujarat. The news of the leader of Patidar community agitation joining Uddhav Thackeray’s party is significant for BJP.
Hardik had given a lot of problems to the BJP at the Centre and the State over the Patel reservation row also known as Patidar quota row.
The 23-year-old Patel met the Shiv Sena chief at his Mumbai home Matoshree. Following the meeting, Uddhav Thackeray announced, “Hardik Patel will be the face of the Shiv Sena’s campaign in Gujarat.”
Patel was arrested for sedition and spent six months out of the state. He was arrested in 2015 after a rally he called became violent leading to the deaths of around 12 people.
Mumbai-In a joint press conf with U.Thackeray Hardik Patel says he is a fan of Bal Thackeray; will be Shiv Sena’s campaign face in Gujarat pic.twitter.com/Y0eBKyyiFp
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 7, 2017
He was released after nine months on condition that he leaves Gujarat.
Hardik said that his first task is to meet the Gujarati community in Mumbai. His second major vow is to defeat BJP in Gujarat when it heads to polls later this year.
“My meeting people from the Gujarati community in Mumbai should not be viewed politically,” he said, however.
Relations between Shiv Sena and the BJP, who are allies in the Maharashtra Government, have been soured for quite some time now.
Sena believes that BJP is encroaching on its Marathi vote-bank just ahead of elections in BMC. The Sena now hopes that the Gujarati community in Mumbai can be won over by Patel.
The 40-seat BMC is the country’s richest municipal body with a Rs.37,000 crore-budget.