Mevani satisfied with turnout despite anti-rally campaign

Jignesh Mevani

The "Yuva Hunkar Rally" by Gujarat MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, aimed at raising issues like social justice, unemployment and atrocities against Dalits and release of Bhim Army's founder Chandrashekhar Azad, today began to a boring response at Delhi's Parliament Street. Mevani stated real issues like corruption, poverty and unemployment are given less importance instead issues involving Ghar Wapasi, love jihad and cows are given space.

However, earlier on January 5, Mevani denied of making inflammatory speech in Pune.

"If an elected representative does not have the right to do so, then this is Gujarat model", Mevani said to the crowd comprising student activists from Delhi, Lucknow and Allahabad and other places. PM Modi has to choose between the two, Manusmriti and the constitution. Alpesh Thakore, Hardik Patel and I are being targeted because we demolished their (BJP) pride and arrogance in Gujarat.

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The Dalit leader still held his own, and decide to continue the Youth Hunkar rally. Mevani was reported to hold a rally demanding Dalit rights and release of Chandrashekhar after the government was accused of perpetrating violence against Dalits in Pune violence last week. "There's a looming threat to our democracy and Constitution today", he said.

Former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who also addressed the gathering, was welcomed by supporters with his trademark Azadi slogans seeking freedom from all forms of socio-economic and political ills. "Not asking about Lalu, but what about Sukhram's son or Mukul Roy?" he said.

"They are afraid of Chandrashekhar, not because he's a threat to the country: but to those who want to convert this to a Hindu Rashtra".

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He said Mevani, supported by the Congress in the Gujarat Assembly polls, had joined hands with Umar Khalid, accused of raising anti-India slogans in JNU, and added that Gandhi had strengthened Mevani and his allies.

The dalit leader alleged that the "false" F.I.R.is the brainchild of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiyia Janata Party (BJP). The newly elected MLA also said that when he fought elections in Gujarat he always spoke about bringing people together. Some 1,500 security personnel in riot gear, with tear gas launchers and water cannons, were deployed on Parliament Street. Assam's farmer leader Akhil Gogoi and senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan also attended the rally. Extra troops were also called in from the neighbouring districts.

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