Hardik Patel, the influential Patidar leader, is likely to join the Congress on March 12 and contest from the Jamnagar constituency in Gujarat. The Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat is currently represented by Poonamben Maadam of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Patel's joining will coincide with the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Ahmedabad, following which top party leaders will address a public rally there.
Last month, Patel had announced his decision to take the political plunge at a rally in Lucknow. In 2017, Patel had supported the Congress during the Gujarat Assembly Elections.
Patel hit the national headlines after he spearheaded the Patidar community's state-wide agitation to demand reservation in government jobs and educational institutes. Patel was let out on bail but on the condition that he will not enter Mehsana district. His father Bharat Patel said the marriage ceremony was earlier planned at a temple in Mehsana but had to be cancelled.
Recently, the Patidar quota agitation leader tied the knot with his childhood friend Kinjal Parikh at a ceremony in Gujarat. The 25-year-old convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) married Kinjal Parikh at a temple in Digsar village of Surendranagar district, around 130 km from Ahmedabad, in the presence of close relatives and friends. "This is the beginning of the second innings of my family life. My resolution is that everyone should get equal opportunity. We have one pledged to fight together for the 'navnirman' (reconstruction) of the country.
"We will fight till the end of our breath for truth, for the people and for right to equality," Patel told reporters after the marriage ceremony.
Patel said he was in love with Kinjal Parikh, who is pursuing a course in law, since long and the marriage was later arranged by their family members.
Both Patel and his wife are natives of Viramgam in Ahmedabad district though the newly married bride's family lives in Surat.