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Hardik Patel Exclusive Interview: Modiji’s face looks big, Congress’s strategy gets leaked…Hardik Patel’s full interview


Ahmedabad:Elections are to be held in Gujarat this year but the ruckus inside the Congress is not taking its name. Hardik Patel, who came out of the movement, is in the Congress but is not finding himself comfortable. There were also reports that he might leave the Congress. To understand what is the present Surat-e-Hal in Gujarat, why Congress is not able to stand there and what kind of problems Hardik Patel himself is facing inside Congress NBT National Bureau special correspondent Manjari Chaturvedi spoke to Hardik Patel. Here are the highlights of the conversation:

What is the current political scenario of Gujarat you see?
In Gujarat, the people are definitely angry with the government, but they are also looking at who will fight for us? We have to fight on the streets. Sometimes the results of other states lower the morale of the worker but Gujarat is different from other states. Here voting is done on the basis of feelings, possibilities and religion.

What will be the difference between the elections held in 2017 and the elections in 2022?
The 2017 election was affected by several major mass movements, the biggest of which was the Patidar movement. At that time caste equation was a big issue, whereas today the issues have changed.
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Last time was a good opportunity for Congress. She could not take advantage of the opportunity, what are the prospects for her in 2022?
Chances are good but it has to be done with teamwork. Good decisions have to be taken, the longer we delay in taking a decision, the more damage will be done. I keep on telling the top leadership that the leadership you see is not the only one. Opportunities for new people. People expect us to fight for them. Not that we take a picture and leave. In 2017 people accepted us because we spent nine months in jail, fought for our society. People thought it was fighting for us.

The magic of the trio of Hardik, Alpesh, Jignesh was visible in the last elections. How much power is left in this trio now?
All three of us were from different backgrounds, but we came out fighting. We fought aggressively for the people and were successful to some extent in that. I noticed that the young man likes to associate with aggressive and fearless people. I say the same thing inside the party too, but many people don’t like what I say.
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From your statements, it seems that you are not comfortable in Congress. To what extent are you satisfied with the party?
Like family, there are issues in a party too. There is also a rift between husband and wife, but the relationship does not end. We joined the party not after seeing the leadership of the state, but after seeing Rahul ji and Priyanka ji. We thought he would protect us. If I ask for a post, it is permissible to question me, but if I ask for work, then why do questions arise? Rahul ji made me working president, I want to fulfill that responsibility of mine. But till date I have not got that responsibility from the party.
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There are reports that you can join BJP. How much truth is there in this?
Some of our senior leaders make news in the media that Hardik is leaving. The central leadership thinks that Hardik will remain in the party or not? The leadership has to have faith in us. I joined the Congress in that Gujarat, from where the PM and the Home Minister come. I was in jail for 12 months, if I had to go to BJP, I would have gone then. If I am saying something today, it hurts me not because I am going to go out, because I am with you.

What is the problem within Congress?
The PM and the Home Minister come from Gujarat. It has been the laboratory of Hindutva and Sangh, where new experiments are constantly being conducted. We have to brainstorm on the results of the last 10-15 years. It has to be seen that if we take any decision in a closed room, then it does not go out. BJP’s strategy does not come out. But here all the important things come out through the sources. This causes damage.
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Doesn’t Modi’s face blunt the edge of anti-incumbency in Gujarat?
When elections are held in the state, Modi ji comes here, his face looks big. BJP does everything in his name. For this we have to work emotionally. We have to tell the people that you have set one child of the state, now you set the other child of Congress. It’s your child who wants to work for you. But for this the party will have to put forward a bigger face. When we make a big face, only then can we fight with a big face.

What can be the election issues of Gujarat?
It is not that Gujarat which was made between 2002 and 2015 is the same model, Gujarat has already been a model. Unemployment has become a major issue here in recent years.


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