Over the course of an explosive interview on Nation Wants To Know with Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, youth leader Hardik Patel has answered a critical question that was at everyone's lips at the time of last year's Gujarat assembly elections: "Is he the B-team of the Congress party?"
Hardik replied to the question both philosophically and directly. Starting with the former, he said:
"If I am not with the government, it doesn't mean I am against them. And if I am against them, it doesn't mean that I am with the Opposition."
"What can I do", Patel asked, "if the Opposition takes advantage of my fight against the government?"
He conceded that in such a scenario, if the Opposition was to benefit, then one could call him their B-team, but then dismissed the notion, saying that he's nobody's B-team and he doesn't like being described as such.
However, how then would he explain being caught on camera at a hotel where Rahul Gandhi was also present, during the election campaign? Hardik Patel's answer was that he didn't meet the Congress president and that the larger question is that if a person whose grandmother and father (Former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi) were killed because of lapses in their security, and if Rahul Gandhi has SPG security, how then could tapes leak in such a manner?
On being pursued over the matter of working for the Congress, Hardik Patel reiterated that he isn't and clarified that he is working against the government. He explained that his suggestion to then wantaway BJP leader Nitin Patel to join the Congress was because the Congress and the BJP are the only major parties in Gujarat.
Despite stating that he doesn't work for the Congress, he did express his admiration for Rahul Gandhi. Ideologically, Hardik Patel said, he likes the Congress president for not espousing thoughts of revenge for the tragedies suffered by his family.
"A person who doesn't believe in revenge, I think that is a good person", he said, going on to describe Rahul Gandhi as a person who isn't playing dirty politics.
Again, however, he was careful to state that he isn't a supporter of Rahul Gandhi or the Congress party.