With Hardik Patel all set to join the BJP on Thursday, his critics are already talking of his once-hostile relationship with the saffron party.
Hardik spoke of his evolved relationship with the BJP in an interview with THE WEEK that is published in its latest issue now on the stands, dated June 12. He also gave a harsh assessment of the woes plaguing the Congress and addressed allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him.
Views on Congress
Hardik told THE WEEK the Congress was disconnected from people's sentiments. He said “There is no planning. There is nothing to do with people’s sentiments. If they had people’s sentiments in mind, a former Union minister (Bharatsinh Solanki) would not have said that dogs peed on the bricks gathered for the Ram temple.”
Hardik alleged he had no power to delegate tasks while he was working president of the Congress. “I never had such (delegating) power as working president. Even if I had to get someone into the Congress fold, I had to ask for the state Congress president's permission. If he said no, then I could not.”
Hardik claimed the grand old party's unwillingness to change was the reason he quit. Hardik said “They (Congress) do not want to change. They only want to bring 65 seats [in Gujarat Assembly], so that they get two Rajya Sabha seats. They do not want to fight to get power. They do not want to think about the interests of the people.”
Changed views on BJP
Hardik credited the BJP for displaying “firm determination” on contentious issues as Article 370 and the Ram temple. He lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for having granted reservation for the Patidar community.