Veteran Congress leader and former Vadodara Congress president Suresh Patel had to pay a heavy price for addressing the inaugural session of a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) camp as Chief guest on May 9 in Vadodara. According to the TOI report, Suresh Patel was suspended by the party soon after the event.
However, the suspension was made public on May 17. Notably, the RSS ‘Sangh Shiksha Varg’ (training camp) began on May 8, in which RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was also present. He had, however, defended his actions saying that the event was not political and was directed towards nation-building. Suresh Patel’s family has been with the Congress for three generations. On May 17, Patel claimed that while the letter being circulated in the media had the date of May 9, he was yet to receive it.
He said that no clarification has been sought from him so far, and nobody from the party has spoken to him about the event.
Notably, RSS had invited Patel as a guest for the training camp held at a plot owned by him, as he had refused to charge rent to the Sangh for the ground.
In a letter dated May 9, written by the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) and signed by party vice-president Vijay Dave, the GPCC said: “As a senior Congress leader, your presence at the RSS varg training event held in Vadodara, where you were not only the chief guest at the inauguration but also addressed the gathering of the Sangh, was inappropriate. Considering this act, GPCC president Jagdish Thakor has directed that you could be suspended from the membership of the Congress party with immediate effect.”