|Working President of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee|
|Assumed office |
11 July 2020
|Born||20 July 1993|
Viramgam, Gujarat, India
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Known for||Patidar reservation agitation|
Hardik Patel was born on 20 July 1993 in a Gujarati Patel family to Bharat and Usha Patel. In 2004, his parents moved to Viramgam. Hardik studied from Class VI to Class VIII at Divya Jyot School in Viramgam, before moving to K B Shah Vinay Mandir, where he studied until Class XII. He was a poor student and a cricket enthusiast.
In 2010, Patel joined Sahajanand College, Ahmedabad. He ran for the post of general secretary of the college students' union and was elected unopposed. In 2013, he received Bachelor of Commerce (B. Com.) degree.
Social and political activism
On 31 October 2012 Hardik Patel joined the Sardar Patel Group (SPG), a Patidar youth body, and within less than a month, became president of its Viramgam unit. In 2015, Hardik Patel was ousted from his post with the SPG after a conflict with its leader, Lalji Patel.
In July 2015 Patel's sister, Monica, failed to qualify for a state government scholarship. He was upset when Monica's friend qualified for the same scholarship through the Other Backward Class (OBC) quota even though she had scored lower marks. Recognizing that affirmative policies were benefiting other castes but not Patidars, Patel formed the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) which claim itself as an apolitical organization that aims to get Patidars included in the OBC quota.
With support of PAAS, Patel led the Patidar reservation agitation starting July 2015. He organized several rallies across Gujarat. On 25 August 2015, a large number of Patidars from all over Gujarat gathered at GMDC ground, Ahmedabad for a rally. That evening, he was briefly arrested by Ahmedabad City Police when he went on fast after a rally held earlier in the day had dispersed. Violent protests broke out in response, forcing the Gujarat state government to impose a curfew and call in the Indian Army. He continues to lead the agitation. Hardik Patel was arrested again on 18 January 2020 for failing to appear before a trial court here in a 2015 sedition case, hours after a warrant was issued against him.
Patel backed the campaign of the Indian National Congress in 2017 Gujarat legislative assembly election. On 12 March 2019, he joined Indian National Congress. But he did not contest the 2019 Indian general election because of his conviction of the rioting offence in Mehsana in 2015 which barred him from contesting.
On 18 October 2015, Patel was booked for insulting the National Flag of India, in a case registered in Rajkot. He was briefly detained for trying to disrupt the one-day international (ODI) cricket match between India and South Africa. On 19 October 2015, Patel was booked in Surat under the charges of sedition over alleged remarks about 'killing cops'. Subsequently, he was imprisoned. On 15 July 2016, Patel was granted bail on the condition that he would stay out of the state for six months and out of Mehsana for nine months. He moved to Udaipur for this period.
On 25 July 2018, Patel was found guilty of rioting, arson, damage to property and unlawful assembly. The three were fined Rs. 50,000 apart from the two-year imprisonment, but were granted bail soon after the verdict.
Patel has been involved in many controversies during his political career. The illegal sex tape released during Gujarat Vidhan Sabha election in 2017 showing him having possible intimate relationship with an unidentified women. Patel however claimed it is morphed and he is being targeted by BJP and Chief Minister of Gujarat because he is popular. Hardik Patel is believed to have spent crores of rupees in his sister's marriage which was believed to be gained through his corruption.
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- "Well-funded, organized and massive: Who's behind Hardik Patel's war machine?". Times of India. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
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- David Barstow and Suhasini Raj (27 August 2015). "Caste Quotas in India Come Under Attack". New York Times. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
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- "Buzz in Delhi: Hardik and Sena share common goals". National Herald.
- "Congress promises to bring legislation for Patidar reservation, without altering OBC share of quota". firstpost.com. 4 December 2017.
- "Patidar Leader Hardik Patel Joins Congress In Presence Of Rahul Gandhi". NDTV. 12 March 2019.
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- "Aides turn against Hardik Patel, accuse him of misusing community's money". The Times of India. 23 August 2016.
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- "Hardik Patel used quota stir to become leader, amass wealth: Ex-aides". Hindustan Times. 23 August 2016.
- "Hardik Patel on sex CD: I am yet to marry and I am not impotent". India Today.
- "Days after Hardik Patel's premonition, alleged sex tape of Patel agitation leader surfaces". dna. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
- "Hardik Patel's alleged sex tape goes viral, Patel quota leader says BJP playing dirty politics". Zee News. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
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- Saumya, Trivedi (23 April 2019). "Times Now". Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "'Tricolour in a case' remarks: Hardik Patel booked for sedition". NDTV. 18 October 2015.
- "'Kill cops' remarks: Hardik Patel booked for sedition". Timesofindia. 19 October 2015.
- "Patidar leader Hardik Patel gets conditional bail in rioting case". The Indian Express. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
- "Hardik Patel Gets Bail Soon After Conviction In 2015 Gujarat Rioting Case". NDTV.com. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Shifa Naseer (29 March 2019). "Gujarat HC rejects Hardik Patel's plea to stay conviction in Mehsana rioting case, can't contest polls". Indiatoday.in.
- Hardik Patel sex tape, retrieved 19 November 2019
- "Hardik Patel's purported sex CD emerges, he blames BJP". The Economic Times. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
- "बहन की शादी में 10 करोड़ खर्च का आरोप, हार्दिक ने बीजेपी नेता से कहा- जो उखाड़ना है उखाड़ लो". Jansatta (in Hindi). 10 March 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
- "Patidar leader Hardik Patel married to childhood friend Kinjal Parikh". Hindustan Times. 27 January 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "Hardik Patel Gets Married to Childhood Friend, Says Wife Will Help in Fight for Patidar Rights". News18. Retrieved 4 March 2019.