Why are dirty clothes sent to the laundry? Well, to clean them, right! The Bhartiya Janata Party has become the same laundry, where anti-nationalist opposition leaders come to wipe off their sins, and Hardik Patel has exposed this very problem of the BJP, a trait that has the potential to put off the loyalist voters.
Hardik Patel soon to join BJP; suggests reports
Hardik Patel, the Patidar leader who recently quit the Congress party is all set to join the BJP. The update comes ahead of Gujarat assembly elections due later this year. Not to mention, the BJP is in power in the state since two decades.
Media reports suggest that Patel will join the party on June 2. “It is confirmed that Hardik Patel will join the BJP on June 2 in the presence of state president C R Patil,” BJP’s state spokesperson Yagnesh Dave told PTI. Gujarat’s Deputy CM Nitin Patel admitted the development and said that if someone wants to use the BJP to serve society, he is welcome to the party. He said, “Several people from various walks of life representing different districts have joined the BJP (state unit) under the leadership of CR Patil.”
Reports suggest that Patel is keen on contesting the assembly elections from Viragram, which is his birthplace as well as Patidar hub. According to media reports, he was negotiating with both Congress and the BJP in order to grab the constituency.
Hardik Patel’s rise through Anti-Nationalist stance
Hardik Patel is an opportunist man who loves to grab the eyeballs and can go to any extent to be in news. And he is done that again with his political misadventure, quitting Congress. Well, Hardik has done nothing new and has just applied his tested and tried tactics.
Patel rose to prominence and started being recognised as a ‘leader’ with his role in the violent protests for quotas in jobs and education that took place in 2015 in Gujarat, often referred to as the ‘Patidar Andolan’. Even after grabbing the eyeballs, Hardik Patel lost all hopes after the regulation of EWS quota announced by the Modi government. In the fear of becoming irrelevant Patel stepped into national politics and Congress provided him the stage. He joined Congress in 2019.
As a result, he lost the support of both the active organisations Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and Sardar Patel Group (SPG). They decided against Hardik Patel being face of the Patidar Andolan. Hardik Patel hence lost the movement he drew his credibility from. He has always picked an anti-national line. His speeches always had a tilt towards Naxalism.
He was charged with Sedition, for his violent role in the Patidar agitation of 2015. He was also sentenced to two years of imprisonment for rioting and arson at Visnagar town during the agitation. Due to the same reason, he could not contest the Lok Sabha polls of 2019. Later, the Supreme Court of India stayed his conviction making Patel eligible to contest elections. Free from the legal clutches Patel is finding the correct boat to swim.
He grabbed the tail of sinking Congress for the aforementioned reason. However, he later resigned from the Congress party, as he opined that the party has broken the trust of the youth of Gujarat.
BJP: The image laundry machine
A Rahul Gandhi speech got popularised in which he can be heard putting forward the “potato-to-gold” machine theory. He said, “Potato factory will be set up, in which potato will be inserted from one end and gold comes out from the other.” The BJP has somewhat turned this thing into a reality. The party has declared itself a ‘laundry machine’, which suggests that the party has some special power to rinse politicians to a spotless white.
It seems that the Bhartiya Janata Party has taken no lessons from West Bengal, where TMC turncoats came, joined the party and then again turned back. BJP claims to be a party that owns the legacy of being the ‘party with a difference’. The politics of defections was often blamed to be a Congress forte.
It was in 1996 when former Prime Minister Atal Vihari Vajpayee declared, “Party tod kar satta ke liye naya gathbandhan kar ke agar satta haath mein aati hai to mein aisi satta ko chimte se bhi chhoona pasand nahin karoonga (If power comes by breaking a party and making a new alliance, I wouldn’t like to touch this power even with a pair of tongs).” And it seems that BJP has come a long way since then. As the saffron party has become a yard where other parties and constantly dropping their heavyweights.
To make it clear, assembly elections are approaching Gujarat, a season that brings along mass defections, politicians parroting different tones, sudden change of hearts, and a massive show of opportunism. The politicians with tainted image have made their ways through BJP and if the party wants to retain its loyal voter base which votes for them based on party’s idea of India, the party needs to pull the plug immediately, as the season of defections is approaching.