Former quota agitation leader Reshma Patel joined the Aam Aadmi party on Wednesday, a day after he resigned from the Nationalist Congress Party, apparently over refusing a ticket for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls.
Elections for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will take place in two stages on December 1 and 5, with vote counting taking place on December 8.
AAP’s Rajya Sabha member and Gujarat co-responsible Raghav Chadha included Ms Patel in the party at her state office here and noted that she was a prominent face of the committee that organized the 2015 Patidar quota agitation in Gujarat.
“I am sure that a personality like hers will greatly benefit the AAP and make its Gujarat unit very strong. It is for the AAP’s political affairs committee to decide which candidate will fight from where. Patel’s inclusion in the AAP will affect not only one seat, in one district, but all of Gujarat,” Mr Chadha told reporters.
Ms Patel said she has consistently raised her voice for the poor and downtrodden people and now wants to devote her energy and time to “a party where the future of the people of Gujarat lies”.
“(AAP’s national organizer) Arvind Kejriwal came from a movement himself. It means he can understand the feelings of the agitators, which is why I joined the AAP today. I am sure that under Kejriwal’s leadership and with the dedication of the AAP workers, I will be able to increase my strength and work for the people,” she said.
The NCP and Congress recently announced their pre-poll alliance whereby the Sharad Pawar-led party will contest three seats in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections: Umreth (Anand district, Naroda (in Ahmedabad district) and Devgarh Baria (in Dahod district ).).
Ms. Patel, who was the head of the Gujarat NCP women’s wing, tried to join the contest from Gondal’s seat in Rajkot district where she was operating and had even said she would submit her nomination, a day before the alliance was announced.
She had emerged as a leading member of the Hardik Patel-led quota agitation body – Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) – who spearheaded the community quota agitation movement in 2015.
Before the last Gujarat elections in December 2017, she joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but quit in 2019 and later joined the NCP.
When she joined the BJP, she had accused Hardik Patel of being a “congress agent” who tried to use the agitation to overthrow the BJP government.
Hardik Patel later joined the BJP. This time, the party got the ticket from Viramgam seat in Ahmedabad district.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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