By NewsGram Staff Writer
Ahmedabad: Lalji Patel, founder-president of Sardar Patel Group, inducted Hardik Patel in the group when he was 19 and “the boy” outwitted him by using social media effectively.
In an article in The Indian Express, Lalji,38, and popularly known as “LD” said, “I gave him the responsibility of handling the social media campaign for our movement and he ran it creating an impression that he was leading the movement. To this day Hardik holds the rights to all social media accounts of SPG.”
When Hardik’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) held its rally in Ahmedabad on August 25, it was not even a registered organisation, but only a Facebook and WhatsApp group, Lalji said.
Lalji announced on Monday that SPG’s first priority is to help those families who lost their sons in the violence that commenced after the rally, provide aid to those who were injured, and ensure the release of Patidars in custody.
“We have the rest of our life to run the agitation. This is more important than rushing to Delhi,” he said. He declared August 26 as “Patidar Shahid Din”, and demanded a CBI investigation into the role played by the police in the violence.
Lalji described himself as a “media shy”, grassroots person and Hardik as a person who “likes the spotlight.” According to Lalji, the crowd present at the Ahmedabad rally would have turned up even if Hardik or he was not there.
When asked if the Patidar community would listen to Lalji’s or Hardik’s directive in an election, Lalji said, “I feel they should listen to me. But the Patels are an intelligent community… It is very difficult to organise intelligent people. They can demolish any leader.”