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Youth Congress leader missing from Uttar Pradesh hotel

Lucknow, July 20 (Calcutta Tube) A prominent Youth Congress activist hand-picked by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to handle organisational elections has been missing from a hotel in Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi town, police said Tuesday, a day after he disappeared.

Nishant Patel went missing Monday morning from Utsav Hotel in Hardoi, about 100 km from here, where he had been staying for the past few days to conduct the local organisational election scheduled later this month.

He is stated to have been hand-picked by Rahul Gandhi as local returning officer for electing Youth Congress officer bearers.

‘The hotel guard claims to have seen Patel boarding a cycle-rickshaw around 6 in the morning. We are trying to trace the rickshaw-puller who could provide us with some vital clues,’ Hardoi Superintendent of Police Gyan Singh told IANS Tuesday.

‘What was strange that both his mobile phone as well as his purse were found intact next to his bed,’ Singh said.

Youth Congress state returning officer Arvind Chaudhary, who is camping in Lucknow, wonders where Patel could have vanished.

‘He was a good-natured person and never even had any heated argument with anyone. I also see no reason for anyone to kidnap him. He had come all the way from Gujarat where his father Hansmukh Bhai Patel was a prominent Congress leader and former minister,’ said Chaudhary.

Patel had been holding discussions with party members until about 2 a.m. Monday, hours before he disappeared.

‘He returned to his room around 11 p.m. on Sunday night and was talking to party men until about 2 a.m. after which he retired. It was around 7.30 in the morning when local party workers knocked at his door to find him missing,’ Chaudhary told IANS.

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