FOLLOW THE LEADER

Hardik Patel first entered the political limelight as a sword-wielding 22-year-old when he led strident protests in Gujarat over his community's demand to get reservation in education and jobs. That was in August 2015. Fourteen people died and public property was destructed in large scale during the protests.
 
In October, Patel was booked in Surat under the charges of sedition and was subsequently imprisoned. He was in jail for nine months, before being released on bail in July 2016. Before the state Assembly election in December 2017, Patel had declared support to the Congress. Now 25, Patel has announced he will contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. He has held talks with the Congress but may also enter the fray as an independent candidate. According to a PTI report, he might contest the elections from Mehsana or Amreli seat. Patel's entry into electoral fray will have an impact in Gujarat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party has been winning assembly elections since 1995. In the 2014 general election, the BJP had won all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state.