Fight For Your Rights Like Jignesh Mevani: Rahul Urges Tribal Youths in Gujarat
With Tuesday's Satyagraha, the party, began its campaigning for the Gujarat Assembly polls to be held this year.
The Quint DAILY
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, 10 May, urged the tribal youths in Gujarat to fight for their rights just like Vadagam MLA Jignesh Mevani had put up a "fearless fight" against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recently.
Speaking at the party's Adivasi Satyagraha in Dahod, Gandhi also promised people that if Congress is voted to power in the upcoming state Assembly elections, it would stop the Par Tapi Narmada river linking project, reported The Indian Express.
With Tuesday's Satyagraha, the party began its campaigning for the state polls to be held this year. Congress aims to garner 40 seats from Purva Patti, Gujarat's tribal belt. Twenty-seven of the 40 seats are reserved for candidates from the Scheduled Tribes community.
'Today, Two Indias Are Created - One For Rich, One For Poor'
The Satyagraha, which was launched by Mevani, was attended by several Congress party leaders including Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee working president Hardik Patel.
Only the state of Gujarat has been mandating that prior permission was required for a protest, Gandhi said.
“Jignesh Mevani was jailed for three months for the same. I would like to say that even if he's jailed for 10 years, it won't affect him,” Gandhi said, as per Hindustan Times.
Speaking at the event earlier in the day, Mevani accused the BJP government of filing "false cases" against dissenters from the "oppressed communities" and said the party has to soon withdraw the same.
Addressing the gathering, Gandhi also stated that although only tribals were involved in the construction of every infrastructure project in the state, the BJP government has denied them education and health.
"Tribal people through their hard work built roads, bridges, buildings and infrastructure in Gujarat. But what did you get in return? You got nothing. Neither good education nor health service," he said, as per Hindustan Times.
Stating that the saffron party will take the land and water of tribals for the Par Tapi and Narmada river linking project, and give it to millionaries, he said Congress would stall the project if it comes to power.
"You have to fight for your rights," reiterated Gandhi, and invoked the example of Birsa Munda, a young freedom fighter who is known to have mobilised tribals against the British.
Further, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of replicating Gujarat model in the entire nation, Gandhi said, "PM Modi is running the country like how he governed Gujarat as chief minister. Under his rule, there are two Indias - one for the rich and another for the poor."
“Today, two Indias are being created, one India of the rich, a few select people, billionaires and bureaucrats who have power and money. The second India is of the common people,” he said, adding that Congress never wanted two Indias.
"We want only one Hindustan which respects, provides education, health care and oppurtunities for all the people," he said, adding that the BJP distributes resources like water, forest and land belonging to tribals and other poor people, to a select few.
He also came down heavily on the Modi government for "mismanaging" the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When three lakh people died in Gujarat and the Ganga was flooded with dead bodies, the prime minister asked people to bang pots and pans and flash mobile lights."
PM Modi also used the media to distract people during the pandemic, Gandhi alleged.
(With inputs from The Indian Express, Hindustan Times.)
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