Congress leadership has appointed the Patidar leader Hardik Patel as the working president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC). AICC general secretary K C Venugopal announced this.
Hardik Patel had joined Congress just days ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He had shot to popularity due to his role in the Patidar quota agitation.
Apart from being convicted in a riot case, Patel is also facing several other cases, and is currently on bail in these cases. In July 2018, he was found guilty of causing a riot in 2015 during the Patidar agitations in Gujarat. A total of 9 people had died and the Army had to be deployed to maintain peace.
Hardik Patel and two others were convicted under IPC sections of 147, 148, 149, 427 and 435, and they were sentenced for two-year jail term and also was fined Rs. 50,000 along with the imprisonment.
In January this year he was arrested for failing to appear before a trial court in connection with a sedition case. Hardik Patel was booked by the Crime Branch in 2015 under sedition charges.
In 2015, Patel had formed Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), to demand OBC status for the Patiday community. He had supported Congress in the 2017 assembly elections in Gujarat. And in March 2019, he had joined the Congress party.