Not Meeting Rahul Gandhi Before Gujarat Polls Was A Mistake, Could Have Beaten BJP: Hardik Patel

| March 11 , 2018 , 09:04 IST

Patidar leader Hardik Patel rose to nation-wide fame ahead of the Gujarat assembly elections of December 2017, with his extensive campaigning against the BJP. However, Patel reportedly did not meet Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi ahead of the polls, a fact he regretted as the BJP still managed to secure a majority in the state, despite winning lesser seats.

During the India Today Conclave in Mumbai on Sunday the Patidar leader expressed that it was a mistake not meeting Rahul Gandhi ahead of the elections, and that if he had met the Congress leader, the BJP may have been prevented from retaining power in the state.

ALSO READ: 'Lady Mahatma' Mamata Banerjee Should Lead The Opposition: Hardik Patel

"I have said this before as well and I am saying it now. I did not meet Rahul Gandhi. If I can openly meet Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar and (Shiv Sena president) Uddhav Thackeray, there was no issue in meeting Rahul," Patel said.

"It was a mistake. Had I met him, the BJP would have won 79 and not 99 seats," he said.

Although Patel had pledged support of his Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) to the Congress in November-end, he did not personally meet Rahul Gandhi.

In Gujarat, the BJP retained power by securing 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, 16 seats less than the party had secured in the previous elections. Meanwhile, the Congress won 77 seats, 16 more than in the previous elections.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi was credited with the success of the party in the Gujarat assembly elections, where the Congress secured a foothold in a state considered to be a stronghold for the BJP party.