Hardik Patel joins Congress, but fighting Lok Sabha polls possible only after clearing legal hurdles

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 12 March 2019, 03:56 PM
Patidar leader Hardik Patel joins Congress in presence of Rahul Gandhi
Patidar leader Hardik Patel joins Congress in presence of Rahul Gandhi

Ending days of speculation and negotiations, Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Tuesday joined the Congress in presence of party chief Rahul Gandhi.

Patel joined the Congress during the ongoing CWC meeting in Gujarat's Ahmedabad. 

Patel is likely to contest from the Jamnagar constituency which is currently ruled by BJP's Poonamben Maadam. 

However, Patel's plans to contest the Lok Sabha polls, the schedule of which was announced by the Election Commission of India on Sunday, may be possible only if he clears legal hurdles.

He has been convicted and sentenced to two years in a riot case connected to the 2015 Patidar quota agitation, which bars him from contesting polls.

"To give shape to my intentions to serve society & country, I have decided to join Indian National Congress on 12th March in presence of Shri Rahul Gandhi & other senior leaders," Patel tweeted Sunday.

"I would also like to state that if there is no legal hindrance and party decides to field me in electoral politics, I would abide by the party's decision. I am taking this step to serve 125 crore citizens of India," he said in another tweet.

In July last year, the sessions court of Visnagar in Mehsana district had sentenced him to two years imprisonment for rioting and arson which took place in Visnagar town in 2015.

While his jail term has been stayed by the court, his conviction has not been suspended.

Patel has filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court seeking a stay on his conviction by a lower court.

Earlier, on Friday, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) had given the go-ahead to Patel to join the Congress.

First Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 03:39 PM
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