Hardik Patel, a 22-year-old youth, has brought the capital city of Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to a halt by leading a massive rally of the Patel community demanding reservations.
The man has become a uniting force for the Patel community in Gujarat, which comprises about 15% of the state's population, in demanding an OBC quota to get reservations in government jobs and institutes.
Patel reportedly works with his father in a small business of submersible pumps, and he graduated from Ahmedabad's Sahajanand College, The Times of India reported.
He was previously a member of the Sardar Patel Group (SPG), a youth group in the Patidar community, and formed the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) in July 2015 to galvanise the community's demand for an OBC quota.
While the Patel community has a strong foothold in the political landscape of Gujarat, which has been the BJP and PM Modi's support base, the members are now demanding reservations as an economically and socially weaker section of the society.
Many believe that the Patel community's reason behind demanding reservations is that they now want their youth to get into medical and engineering colleges instead of taking up jobs in the failing small and medium enterprises.
Patel had himself said that he decided to launch the movement after learning that the youth of the community were unable to find jobs and get admission to colleges.
"A Patidar student with 90% marks does not get admission in an MBBS course, while SC/ST or OBC students get it with 45% marks," Hardik Patel was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Patel launched his rally from Mehsana in Gujarat in July, and on 25 August, he spearheaded a massive rally of thousands of community members in Ahmedabad.
He has also held rallies across several districts in Gujarat to demand reservations from the Gujarat government, which, incidentally, is headed by a Patel community member, Chief Minister Anandi Patel.
He has been able to draw massive crowds at his rallies across Gujarat.
Hardik Patel has now set a challenge for PM Modi, warning him at a rally speech on Tuesday that if the community does not get reservation, it will not allow the 'lotus to bloom' in the 2017 assembly elections.
However, Hardik's claim to fame goes beyond just the rallies, given that images of him holding guns had gone viral on the Internet recently.