Hardik Patel is no longer going to be the face of Patel agitations in the coming future. Leaders of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and Sardar Patel Group (SPG) which have been two leading organisations fighting for the rights of Patels in Gujarat held a combined meeting in Surat on Sunday. The two groups sat down together to decide important matters related to the protests which they are planning for the future. After negotiations it was also decided that Hardik Patel will not be allowed to remain as the face of the Patel movement in the future. It is a difficult decision considering the Hardik Patel led PAAS and the Lalji Patel led SPG are two of the most prominent groups fighting for reservations for the youth of the Patel community. This decision however was taken in order to ensure that nobody from the movement becomes a poster boy like Hardik Patel and then tries to politicise the issue as Hardik has done in the past.
A leader from one of the two organisations who commented on conditions of anonymity said, “It has been unanimously decided that Hardik Patel will not be a face or the supreme leader of our agitation. The decision was taken to ensure the agitation doesn’t take on a political flavour, because such things have happened in the past. Our fight is for the rights of the poor youth of the community and not to make someone a hero.” The two groups have mutually decided to exclude Hardik Patel and any future wannabes who could have used the agitation to gain prominence in politics.
Hardik Patel had used the prominence he gained from the Patidar movement to suit his own personal needs. From a student leader who won the post of general secretary in Sahajanand college unopposed to first talking about joining hands with Shiv Sena and then finally backing Congress in the state elections of Gujarat, Hardik has come a long way. His whole image and credibility just depended on one thing the Patel movement which he had used to get political mileage. The decision of PAAS and SPG has been taken after considering the jumpstart which Hardik Patel had received and to stop it from happening ever again in the future. An office bearer of PAAS said, “Hardik also was politically influenced and that cannot be denied; but we need to address the need of the hour. Everyone in this agitation has equal contribution and Hardik’s political inclination affected our agitation badly, as a large chunk of our community started believing that ours is a political agenda. If Hardik wishes to continue to be a part of the agitation, he will have to behave like a member of the team and not the leader.”
The two groups were also concerned with Hardik’s falling popularity and his flop show at the indefinite fast programme held in Ahmedabad. The groups are now planning different protests directed towards the PM, CM and other ministers of Gujarat but the inclusion of Hardik Patel in their movement is now proving to be troublesome for them resulting in him being sidelined.