Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel on Monday asserted he would not join the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party after reports emerged on social media said that he could be the face of AAP for the 2022 assembly elections in the BJP-ruled state.
While discarding these reports as "baseless", Patel saw the BJP's hand behind the circulation of such "fake reports", a claim rejected by the ruling party.
The reports emerged in the backdrop of AAP chief Kejriwal's visit to Gujarat on Monday.
"I am surprised at the reports coming in from various media quarters that I am going to join the AAP and become their face for the next year's Assembly election in Gujarat. Such claims are baselss. Such fake reports are being planted in the media with a malicious intent at the behest of the BJP," Hardik Patel said in a statement.
"These are being circulated to create confusion among Congress supporters and the Patidar community. The BJP is circulating such baseless reports in order to hide its failure during the COVID-19 crisis in Gujarat" he added.
Patel said he is the youngest working president ever of the Gujarat Congress and he joined the party "with the sole aim of removing the anti-farmer, anti-worker and anti-Patidar BJP government."
Patel said he will try his best as the opposition party's state working president to see that the Congress forms a government in Gujarat in 2022.
Earlier in the day, former head of a Gujarati news channel, Isudan Gadhvi, joined the AAP in the presence of Kejriwal.
The BJP rejected Patel's allegations of planting fake news against him.
"The BJP fights elections on the agenda of development and that is why people elect us. Hardik Patel is having his own agenda and we are not concerned about it. His allegations are far from the truth," said Gujarat BJP spokesperson Yamal Vyas. -- PTI