The series of meetings would be capped by a huge public rally in Ahmedabad on December 6, the death anniversary of B R Ambedkar.
New Delhi: Patidar leader Hardik Patel and Dalit activist-turned-politician, Jignesh Mewani, will hold a series of joint public meetings in reserved constituencies of Gujarat beginning November 25. The series of meetings would be capped by a huge public rally in Ahmedabad on December 6, the death anniversary of B R Ambedkar. “For the rally in Ahmedabad, we are eyeing a gathering of at least 50,000 to 1,00,000,” he said on Wednesday.
The Dalit leader, who has come into prominence since the public floggings of Dalits in Una last year, however claimed that he was not extending support to any political party and meetings with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi does not mean that there was some political adjustments being made with the Congress.
“Our aim is to defeat the BJP,” he said, explaining that if at all his supporters contest polls, it would be as independent candidates and not on the Congress symbol.
Mr Mewani said that though there were many social contradictions among Patels, Dalits and the OBCs led by Alpesh Thakore, who has joined the Congress, all the communities were united in their need to overthrow the BJP government in the state. “The farmers, Asha workers, small traders are all united. The amount of dissatisfaction people have with the government in Gujarat is unprecedented. This is not inclusive development.”
He said that the message has been sent to voters that they should not vote for BJP.
“It will be a historical election. If the constitution and democracy has to be saved, then the RSS and BJP need to be stopped,” he said adding that the BJP is rattled. “The party is desperate and the Hardik Patel sex CD shows that they want to digress from real issues related to development.”
“The Gujarat model is a sham. Today all sections of OBCs, Dalits, Patels and farmers are on the road protesting and agitating in Gujarat,” he said. Claiming that BJP would communalise the poll agenda with “Ram vs Haj” debate, he challenged the ruling party to a debate on issues of development and job creation. “All three of us, Alpesh, Hardik and me are ready to debate with them at a venue of their choice.”
On the prospects of the BJP in the coming polls, he said that he would go with the prediction of around 80 votes for the BJP. Questioned on how fresh quota can be created for Patidars as demanded by them, Mr
Mevani said: “It is a complex issue. It is for constitutional experts to decided and political parties to take it forward. But issues like inflation and job creation should be talked about and people need to come together for this. You claim to be vibrant Gujarat and then have 43 per cent malnourished children in your state.”