Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel is mulling joining the Aam Admi Party (AAP). He met senior leader Ashutosh and other Gujarat AAP leaders in Bharuch on Friday, well-placed sources tell Newsd. Hardik was given bail after nine months in prison and is heading to Udaipur till early next year—in line with the terms and conditions of the Gujarat High Court.
Hardik Patel has been lodged in prison since October 2015. He was given bail by the Gujarat High Court in two cases of sedition and one case of violence at the Visnagar MLA’s office during the Patidar agitation last year. The court granted him bail under the condition that he leave Gujarat in 48 hours and stays out of the state for six months.
The 22-year-old’s lawyer told the court that he will stay at House No 190, Shrinath Nagar, in Udaipur till early next year. This is the residence of former Congress MLA Pushakarlal Patel, who said, “As soon as I learnt that the court asked Hardik to stay out of Gujarat for six months, I sent an invitation to his supporters and invited Hardik to stay at my house in Udaipur. Patel community has always stood by Hardik and his agitation for our community. He is like our family member.”
On his release from prison, Hardik took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he does not want a “56-inch chest”. While campaigning ahead of the 2014 General Elections, Modi had said in Gorakhpur that it would take a 56-inch chest to convert Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat.
“All I want is rights for my community. Our agitation will continue in coming days. Our demand for OBC status for Patels is still there. In coming days, there will be a change in the style of our working, but, our attitude will remain the same,” Hardik added. He is still willing to discuss the community’s demands with the BJP-led state government.