Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday said he will neither extend support to any political party nor share stage with them. He, however, said his aim was to oust the BJP from power and announced he will tour the state from November 26, which is observed as Constitution Day, and address several joint meetings with Patidar leader Hardik Patel.
The 10-day campaign by the duo will conclude on December 6, the death anniversary of B R Ambedkar, and the two will address a rally in Ahmedabad. Representatives of trade unions, tribal leaders and farmer associations would attend the meeting, he said.
Mevani said the defeat of the BJP on its “turf” Gujarat was necessary to oust the party from power at the Centre in 2019. He, however, would not openly join hands with the Congress. He said that Congress vice-president had agreed to include 90 per cent of his demands in the party’s manifesto. The two had a meeting earlier this month. Mewani predicted that the BJP would not get more than 80 seats.
Coming out in support of Patel, who is at the centre of a controversy after videos purportedly showing the PAAS leader with a woman went viral, Mevani said a desperate BJP is now talking about sex CDs, sidestepping the issue of development and the Gujarat model that it had been showcasing for so long.
He also wrote an open letter supporting Hardik and posted it on his Facebook page, and also circulated WhatsApp.
“These tapes show how low politics and politicians can stoop. The entire machinery is trying to silence the voice of a 24-year-old leader. During elections, issues like BJP’s 2012 manifesto and what promises they have fulfilled, should take centre stage and not sex videos,”wrote Mevani.
Two videos of the PAAS leader went viral on Monday and Tuesday. In the video, which went viral on Monday, a man resembling the Patidar quota leader was shown with an unknown woman in “what looks like a hotel room”. In the other, a Hardik lookalike is seen relaxing on a bed with two men and a woman.