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Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor, Jignesh Mevani: Three (Ex-) Musketeers?

Three young activists—Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani—had grabbed a fair bit of spotlight before, during and after the Gujarat assembly polls over a year ago.

Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor, Jignesh Mevani: Three (Ex-) Musketeers?
Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor, Jignesh Mevani: Three (Ex-) Musketeers?
outlookindia.com
2019-12-09T14:32:55+05:30

Three young activists—Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani—had grabbed a fair bit of spotlight before, during and after the Gujarat assembly polls over a year ago, with their oppositional politics creating ripples even beyond the boundaries of their state. Thakor’s appeal may have been restricted to the large OBC segment in Gujarat. But Hardik, as the young spearhead of the Patel agitation, was seen as an iconic face for restive middle castes all over. And Mevani, as an articulate Dalit voice, was creating a kind of natio­nal impr­int for himself.

But a lot of those swept up by their rhetoric are a disillusioned lot now—with perhaps the exception of Mevani. Both Hardik and Thakor, 43, are seen as deserters to the cause they once espou­sed. Owing to their mass appeal, they were all wooed by parties. Thakor, who had founded the OBC-SC-­ ST Ekta Manch, joined the Congress bef­ore the 2017 Gujarat polls and won from Radhanpur. But recently, the maverick leader kept the Congress on tente­rhooks and openly negotiated with...

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