The Congress party appointed Hardik Patel, the Patidar quota leader, as the new working president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee. The 26-year old Patel, who joined the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is the youngest ever in the party in Gujarat to hold this position.
In a statement, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal said: "Sonia Gandhi has approved the appointment of Patel as Working President of Gujarat Congress with immediate effect."
Hardik Patel's journey
Patel is known for being an excellent orator which made him popular in college days leading him to actively take part in student politics. Following which he joined the Sardar Patel Group and not many were surprised.
Being an active politician, he spent most of his time outside the home. He was almost never home for meals as a teenager but his parents never worried as they always knew he is usually found at an open ground in the middle of Gujarat's Viramgam town, which is about 60km from Ahmedabad.
He was fond of cricket but unfortunately couldn't make it big on the pitch and immediately after finishing his graduation, Patel started spending hours coaching youngsters who were keen on cricket.
The year 2015 brought many things for Patel as he started taking part in violent protests for quotas in education and jobs. It was a movement that changed everything for him. Patel came under the spotlight and overnight became a political leader.
Most of his time was spent in organising Patidar youth in the state after which he finally launched the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and before he knew it, he was the face of 2015's Patidar agitation for OBC status.
Things, however, changed sour for Patel in 2017 when an alleged sex video of the Patidar leader was floated on the social media and was shown on all TV channels in Gujarat. He, however, laughed it off saying that BJP could only do this to malign his image. The clip did heat up the political environment in poll-bound Gujarat at that point in time.
Patel's family, however, stood by him and said that they are firmly had his back. Though he never planned to be a leader it just happened naturally, his family had said during the scandal.
Two years later, he was back in Gujarat with the Congress. Now, after Congress made the announcement, Patel says that he will be taking off in a car to cover 6,000 villages in order to interact with villagers and getting acquainted with their problems.