On Wednesday, the Gujarat government on opposed Hardik’s petition seeking a stay on his conviction in a rioting case. Public prosecutor Mitesh Amin argued before Justice A G Uraizee that Hardik was facing as many as 17 cases which reflected badly on his conduct.
Amin claimed that Hardik, who led the Patidar quota agitation in 2015, had accepted that he was at the site of the riot at Visnagar in Mehsana district, which was also proved by photographs submitted in the high court.
Hardik had no respect for legal process, and he made “instigating and enraging utterances” during the agitation in 2015 and even later, the prosecutor argued. Hardik’s lawyer IH Syed said if the conviction was not stayed, it will cause “irreparable damage” to his client as he intended to contest the Lok Sabha election. Nobody had seen Hardik Patel committing the alleged crime and the trial court did not examine any independent witnesses, advocate Syed said.
Hardik joined the Congress on 12 March the presence of party president Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Justifying his decision to enter active politics ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Hardik said he could now work for the six crore people of Gujarat in a better way.
After joining the Congress at its rally near Adalaj village in Gandhinagar district, Hardik in his address asked the gathering if it was the right decision. To this, the people answered in “Yes”. Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Hardik said when the Congress decided to postpone its rally, earlier scheduled for 28 February, following the terror attack in Pulwama on 14 February the prime minister was busy addressing gatherings across the country.