Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, who is facing the heat over the violence against Hindi-speaking migrants in Gujarat, observed a day-long fast in Ahmedabad on Thursday, October 11, for ‘peace and harmony’ and asserted that no one is a migrant. He said someone may have said something against the migrants and that the real culprits were those who politicised the issue. He ended the fast in the evening by drinking a glass of juice offered by a girl from a migrant family.
After the rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28 and the arrest of a labourer hailing from Bihar for the crime, six districts in Gujarat have seen incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking migrant workers. The attacks led to exodus of an estimated over 60,000 migrants, mostly from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
In his address at the venue of his Sadbhavna Upvas (goodwill fast) near his residence in the Ranip area here, Thakor said he never spread hatred.
‘Some People are Politicising the issue’
"I am not at all into spreading hatred... We (Thakor community) are pure at heart. It is possible that someone may have said something (against migrants), but we do not harbour grudge against anyone. We never indulge in violence," the Congress MLA said. Thakor, who heads the Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena, also said some people were doing politics over the issue.
“We all need to make sure that Gujarat’s image does not get tarnished. No one is a migrant... The word itself is wrong. I think some people are politicising the issue. This is an attempt at breaking the country. Dividing people in the name of states is something I or my people will never do,”Alpesh Thakor, Congress MLA from Gujarat
Thakor also said Congress President Rahul Gandhi has advised him to practise the politics that unites the country. "At this point, I remember Rahul Gandhi's words. He told me, ‘Alpesh, we should do the politics which unites the country,’" Thakor said.
BJP, Congress Point Fingers at Each Other
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday asked Rahul Gandhi to take action against Thakor. Earlier, following the rape of the 14-month-old girl, Thakor, the MLA from Radhanpur, had blamed a "non-Gujarati" for the crime. On Thursday, however, he said he was merely demanding justice for the girl.
“We only demanded justice for the 14-month-old girl. But we were labelled as anti-nationals. We are not like that. We may have committed some mistakes, but we are not those who harass poor people. Ultimately, we all are Indians. Stop maligning our image,”Alpesh Thakor, Congress MLA from Gujarat
While police have arrested several members of the Thakor Sena in connection with the attacks on Hindi-speaking people, the Congress MLA claimed that police were harassing “innocent” youths from his community.
“As the Congress is caught in its own trap, their MLA was forced do such political drama....What is the use of such drama after spreading poison of casteism and regionalism? The Congress should answer why their MLAs are issuing inflammatory statements which are responsible for the spread of violence,”Bharat Pandya, BJP Spokesperson
State authorities had said on Wednesday that the number of migrant workers leaving Gujarat has come down after they were reassured about their safety.
(With PTI inputs)