Sena’s Hardik Ire

November 13 2017

Not so long ago, people said that Gujarat Patidar leader Hardik Patel would support Shiv Sena in the state. These rumours took wings just after Patel secretly met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray some six months ago in an east Mumbai neighbourhood. Sena birds coo that the meeting went on for hours, and Thackeray asked Patel to lead the Sena in his home state. To which Patel had said he would need some time to ponder. But shortly thereafter, Congress’ Ahmed Patel pulled off the miraculous half-vote win from the state’s Rajya Sabha seat, and all political equations in Gujarat called for unprecedented realignment. Hardik found the Congress more of an attractive choice over the Sena, and started his hobnobbing with the party. When the Sena got wind of this, it gave Hardik quite an earful. Meanwhile, as Hardik’s relationship with the Congress got warmer, the BJP started its own forays into Patel’s pasture. It is known that many of Hardik’s close associates are going to contest the state polls as lotus candidates, for the BJP’s singular strategy if the wear out Patel.

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