Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel has said that he will join the Congress on March 12. He said he would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on the party's ticket from Gujarat's Jamnagar constituency. "I will join the Congress party on March 12 during the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meet in Ahmedabad and will contest from Jamnagar," Mr Patel was quoted by news agency ANI.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and party leader Priyanka Gandhi, who will be in Gujarat to attend the party's meeting, would welcome the leader into the party, the agency reported.
The Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat is currently represented by Poonamben Maadam of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Hardik Patel had risen to prominence when he led an agitation by the Patidar community in 2015, demanding that the community should get benefits of the quota for backward castes.
Mr Patel had backed the Congress in the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections in which the party gave a stiff competition to the BJP, winning 81 out of 182 assembly seats.
The Congress eyes the sizable Patidar votes for the upcoming polls to revive the party that had drawn a blank in the 2014 general elections.
The BJP had won all 26 Lok Sabha seats in the previous elections.
The CWC meet, which was once postponed because of the Pulwama terror attack, will be followed by a rally on March 12.
Congress stalwart Ahmed Patel is in the state to oversee the preparations of the event.
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