After announcing that he may contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, young Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Friday received as many as 22,600 votes in his favour to a question on his Facebook page if fighting elections was a crime.
He conducted an opinion poll of sorts through his Facebook with a straight question in his mother tongue Gujarati: "Is it a crime to contest elections for the cause of farmers and youth?"
Patel also appealed to his readers that he expected a truthful answer, though he was yet to make up his mind on throwing his hat in the electoral ring.
As many as 67 per cent of the 22,600 responses were in his favour of contesting elections, while 2,200 readers clicked Like on his post and 1,400 even sent in their comments.
Patel had told IANS on Wednesday that the objective of his movement was not to win elections but to get reservations for his community in government jobs and educational institutions and his Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) had achieved this in the Centre announcing 10 per cent quota for unreserved classes.
Still, he said he would not wrap up PAAS in a hurry till the Supreme Court approves the quota and the Patidar youth started getting its benefits.
But now the 25-year-old says he may contest elections for the cause of "lakhs of distressed farmers and jobless youngsters." Patel has not so far indicated if he would join a political party or fight the polls as an Independent.
The opposition Congress party has already stated that Patel was welcome to join. "We welcome his decision. He will give a good fight against the Modi government as he represents the youth, who are struggling to get jobs," party spokesperson Manish Doshi told reporters.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)