Hardik had repeatedly insisted he was sworn to his cause and not aligned with any party until this recent move to officially join the grand old party. He had formed the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), which claims to be an apolitical organisation aiming to make Patidars eligible for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota.
Neither the BJP nor the Congress can ignore the fact that 45 to 52 of the 189 seats in Gujarat fall in Patidar-dominated regions. Purely from the perspective of vote-bank politics, the two big parties understand that keeping the Patidars on their side in Gujarat will strengthen their game. However, the Patidars are not one monolithic whole, and their concerns are not homogeneous.
The first split is between the Leuva and Kadva Patels — believed to be descendants of Ramayana’s last generation Luv and Kush — and they belong to Saurashtra, a peninsular, fertile belt. Hardik belongs to the Kadva sub-sect, but the owners of big diamond and real estate businesses are Leuva Patels, who are strongly opposed to the idea of even marrying their children into the other sub-caste.Share this to your,