In August 2015, a year after the Modi government came into power in the center in 2014 with a historic win for Bharatiya Janta Party a strong voice of opposition was raised in newly elected Prime Minister’s Home State Gujarat for the reservation of Patels and Patidars led by Hardik Patel. A young leader who managed to pressurize Modi- Shah duo in their hey-days.
That was the time when Indians were blindly following Narendra Modi and every decision taken by him was loved by the people without even analyzing it. No one was in a position to question him nor criticize him. But a flame was ignited in Gujarat for the reservation that gave a rise to new youth leader Hardik Patel.
Until he fully became a politician Patel was running a small business in Viramnagar, Gujarat. His place is not far from Gandhinagar the home district of PM Modi. Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) organized a massive rally with 400,000 attendees in August 2015 in Surat and brought the city to a standstill demanding the incorporation of the community in the list of OBCs to avail the advantage of 27% reservation.
And in his fiery speech, Patel said, “If we don’t get reservation we will show our political power in the elections to come.” That day itself he stepped into his political career. In two years he developed himself as a leader. Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly election, he found his way into Indian National Congress the opposition party.
In the form of congress, he got the platform to achieve his goals and to reach people. During, 2017 Gujarat election he came into the limelight as Congress gave a tough fight to BJP the stronghold of the saffron party. Out of 182 assembly seats, Congress won 77 while BJP secured 99 seats and 6 others thus it was a close fight and many were of the opinion that BJP could not even manage to cross the mark of 100 in their bastion. The opposition called it a face-saving win.
Many praised Hardik Patel for the success of Congress in the assembly elections. Later, he became the working president of the Gujarat Congress and he is the youngest working president in the country.
But since then he is not in the headlines much. His progress became stagnant. A lot of major events took place in India since then taking from CAA protest, Covid, Farmers protest but is not seen leading from the front. This could have been an opportunity to make himself a young national leader.
Recently, he made his appearance after a long time where he said, ‘I’ll try to maintain the trust that the high command has placed in me. As the youngest working president in the country, I have been entrusted with a responsibility. I will fulfill that responsibility fully.”
Well, this is a sign that he is again getting active ahead of the Gujarat Assembly election in 2022. It will be interesting to see if in this election whether he himself will contest the election or not?