The Congress has recently faced challenges with its MLA count in the Gujarat assembly going down to 74 from 77 in 2017, after Kunwarji Bavaliya joined BJP and is now a minister, followed by Unjha MLA Asha Patel who quit.
Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel is expected to join the Congress soon though the date for the same will be announced after consultations with his colleagues and the Congress leadership. He told The Indian Express that the decision whether he would contest the elections or not would be taken by the Congress leadership.
Along with Patel, five other members of the PAAS core group of the nine, are also likely to join the Congress.
The Congress has recently faced challenges with its MLA count in the Gujarat assembly going down to 74 from 77 in 2017. While Kunwarji Bavaliya crossed over to the BJP, Unjha MLA Asha Patel quit, and, more recently, Bhagabhai Barad, MLA from Talala, was disqualified after his conviction in a mining case.
On speculation about his joining the party during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, Hardik Patel told The Indian Express, “I have come to know about the news of my joining the Congress only from local newspapers, but when and where I will join, I cannot confirm. In the next couple of days, it will be confirmed. I will join the Congress in a short span of time and in the next couple of days. I will meet state Congress leaders and will put my issues before them and a later date and day will be fixed for me to join the party. If the party wishes, I may contest elections. ”
The CWC, earlier scheduled for February 28, was supposed to be followed by a mega rally which was also to be addressed by the newly inducted general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, besides Congress president Rahul Gandhi and others. The party put off both events in view of the Indo-Pak relations turning hostile following the Pulwama attack. The CWC is now scheduled to be held in Ahmedabad on March 12.