Ahmedabad: Six days ahead of the Gujarat polling, the young Patidar leader Hardik Patel has emerged as a star campaigner of Congress in the state.
Having given all other party leaders in the state a good run for their money, Mr Patel is in high demand in Gujarat and even outside the state. Considering his busy campaign schedule, he has been allotted a helicopter by the party.
According to state party leaders, he is the only leader who is in demand after the national leadership. All candidates want him to campaign for them.
“So far, Mr Patel has addressed more than 20 public meetings and by 21st April i.e. the last day of campaigning, he would have addressed nearly 50 plus rallies,” said his aide and media co-ordinator Mr Nikhil Savani.
Mr Patel attempts to attract voters by questioning the BJP and the Prime Minister on issues concerning farmers and unemployment.
Mr Patel started campaigning on 3rd April when his close aide and the Congress MLA Mr Lalit Vasoya filed his nomination for the Porbandar Lok Sabha seat. Since then, he has been campaigning for the Congress, covering mainly constituencies dominated by the Patidar community.
Party sources said that he will organise a massive roadshow and public meeting which will cover four Lok Sabha seats in the Ahmedabad east area on 20th April.
Although he has addressed only one public rally outside Gujarat so far, he has become increasingly popular even outside the state. He has campaigned in Mumbai for the Bollywood actress and Congress candidate Ms Urmila Matondkar. Additionally, he has been listed as a star campaigner of Congress in UP and Rajasthan. In fact, he happens to be the only leader from the Gujarat Congress to be on UP’s list of star campaigners. “He will campaign in other states after 23rd April,” Mr Savani said.
Gujarat will vote for all 26 seats on April 23.
Mr Patel emerged as a leader during the Patidar reservation agitation which took place in Gujarat in 2015. He also supported the Congress during the 2017 state Assembly elections. He joined the Congress one month ago on 12th March in Ahmedabad in the presence of the party president Mr Rahul Gandhi and other top leadership. The party further intended to nominate him as its candidate for the Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat but legal hurdles prevented him from fighting the election.
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