Best known for founding and her involvement with the Narmada Bachao Andolan, Patkar received her degree from the Tata institute of Social Sciences. She is also involved with a number of other causes, most notably her opposition of the Nano plant in West Bengal and also overt support for Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign. Patkar was also involved in filing a PIL against tycoon Hiranandani due to construction of luxury, as opposed to affordable flats in accordance with a tripartite agreement with the state and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.
Patkar is also a recipient of many awards for social service and awareness such as Human Rights Defender’s Award from Amnesty International, Germany and Green Ribbon Award for Best International Political Campaigner by BBC England.
In January 2014, Patkar announced her support for the Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party, drawing attention to the anti-corruption stance taken by the party at the same time Patkar was contesting against irresponsible water use in Lavasa and the Adarsh housing scam. She was quoted as having said that, “We see this party as part of our agenda. With dialogue and deliberations we have decided to support the AAP actively. Active support will be based on both ideological commonality and clarity.”
AAP also welcomed the support, party leader Mayank Singh claiming that, “one needs to go inside (electoral politics) to carry forward the agitation and people’s struggle.”
Patkar is currently contesting from the North East Mumbai constituency as an AAP candidate. Her opponents include candidates such as Sanjay Dina Patil (NCP) & Kirit Somaiya (BJP). However in an interview with CNBC she said she was running against opposing parties and their ideologies, not individual candidates. She further went on to say in the same interview that she considered the work done by NCP “fake” and Somaiya as representing a party centred in communal politics.
Commenting on the manispesto that only the AAP released for the city of Mumbai, Patkar pointed out the issues of housing and sanitation that were facing the financial capital. She however expresses confidence in the AAP garnering the required seats in both Mumbai and Maharashtra.
However, Patkar was accused of witholding information on her affidavit.
The case was filed on the basis of Patkar's criminal cases, her neglect to mention her founding of the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the criminal cases against the activists involved with it and also her stake holdings in foreign companies and her overall assets that figure at 2 lakhs.
"Patkar is a very clever woman. She has concealed several facts, including receiving foreign funds in 2002 in the name of Jan Sahyog Trust and diverting them for the Narmada Bachao Andolan," said VK Saxena, president of National Council for Civil Liberties.