Mevani backs Hardik, says BJP shifting focus from real issues

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 15, 2017

Addressing reporters in New Delhi on Thursday, Dalit activistJignesh Mevani ruled out an electoral role for his group, while alsopredicting that the BJP will lose the Gujarat polls   -  Sandeep Saxena

Says Gujarat fares poorly on human indices, dares BJP to development debate

Extending support to Patidar leader Hardik Patel, Dalit activist from Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani, on Wednesday said the BJP has been using alleged sex tapes to divert the people’s attention from the economic issues that have been hampering the State’s development. Mevani challenged the BJP to a debate on “development” while accusing it of snooping into the private lives of political opponents.

Mevani said the BJP had become so desperate that it had begun taping the private life of 24-year-old Patel.

“Between 2000 and 2014, 14 lakh people in the State have fallen below the poverty line. Malnutrition is rampant in the State. Gujarat has fallen in several human development indices. There are no proper healthcare facilities,” the activist said, and added that the BJP’s so-called Gujarat model is a farce. “The Gujarat model is not an inclusive model.”

Mevani also pointed to corruption, which, he claimed, is rampant in the State. “CAG reports tabled in the Assembly have pointed out corruption worth ₹2.20-lakh crore. The BJP wants to deviate people’s attention from these issues and that is one reason why the Ram Mandir issue is still being raised by its leaders,” he added.

Mevani maintained that his group will not be part of any political party.

He, however, said the BJP will get not more than 80 seats in the upcoming polls. “We have an independent space in the State. We will oppose whoever takes a position against Dalits,” Mevani said. He added that the public resentment against the BJP is at its peak because of unemployment. “Dalits, Patels, OBCs, farmers, traders and youth are on the streets against the BJP,” he said.

Published on November 15, 2017
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