The Congress on Saturday appointed Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel as the party’s working president of the Gujarat unit.
The 26-year-old’s appointment was approved by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, a year after he joined the grand old party ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Patel, however, could not contest the elections following a Gujarat High Court order that refused to stay his conviction in the 2015 Mehsana rioting case. The provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, barred him from contesting the elections.
Patel, who is facing sedition cases related to the 2015 Patidar quota agitation, was arrested on January 18 this year after a court issued a non-bailable warrant for not being present during the hearing. He was granted bail four days later but was again picked up in connection with two other cases filed in Patan and Gandhinagar districts.
In all, Patel faces over 20 cases registered against him across Gujarat after he led the Patidar quota stir in 2015.