Bisheshwar Mishra / New Delhi
Dalit leader and newly elected Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani today took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally near Jantar Mantar in New Delhi saying BJP government poses a “threat” to the country’s democracy and Constitution and termed the refusal to grant permission to his rally an example of the “Gujarat model” of politics.
He also slammed BJP and the right wing activists love Jihad propaganda. “We believe in India’s polity. We are not love jihad guys. We’re pyaar ishq muhabbat guys. We will celebrate 14th February (Valentines’ Day),” Jignesh Mevani said to huge cheers from the audience.
“The 125 crore people of this country are watching that someone is not being allowed to speak for merely demanding the release of Chandrashekhar Azad, effective implementation of the Constitution and two crore jobs to the youth” said Mevani adding that ‘If an elected representative does not have the right to do so, then this is Gujarat model.”
The rally witnessed a modest turnout and Mevani shared stage with JNU student leaders, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid and Umar Khalid. Assam’s farmer leader Akhil Gogoi and senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan also attended the rally.
Mr Mevani has been accused of inciting the recent caste clashes at Bhima-Koregaon near Pune, which spread across the next day. Last week, a case was filed against him by the Pune police, which accused him of spreading enmity among castes.
Ahead of today’s rally, Mr Mevani had announced his intention to visit Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Office. At a press conference on Friday, he had said that he intended to knock at the PM’s door with two books, the Manusmriti and the Constitution, “and ask him what he chooses”.
The Delhi Police refused permission for the rally this morning, have cited a green court order that bans protests in the heart of the city. “Since there is an NGT (National Green Tribunal) order that no protest can be staged at Jantar Mantar, we have asked organisers to hold the protest at alternate sites like Ramlila Maidan,”said senior police officer.