The Gujarat chapter of Bharatiya Dalit Panther has sought an apology from Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel over an “objectionable” word he used during an election meeting in Morbi district on October 30, while describing legendary Gujarati film personalities Mahesh Kanodia and Naresh Kanodia who died recently.
The organisation has threatened to burn Patel’s effigies across the state if he does not tender an apology by Tuesday 6 pm.
Patel made the controversial speech on October 30, at Vaghpur (Piludi) village in Morbi assembly constituency, while campaigning for party candidate Brijesh Merja in the by-election, polling for which is scheduled Tuesday.
The Deputy CM referred to PM Modi’s tour to Gujarat adding that the latter had first visited the residence of former CM Keshubhai Patel and the Kanodia brothers who died recently, for which he used an “objectionable” term.
Dalits from different parts of the state have strongly condemned the term used by the Deputy CM for Kanodias. The Kanodias were BJP members; Mahesh was a former BJP MP and Naresh was a former BJP MLA from Gujarat.
General Secretary of Bharatiya Dalit Panther, Rahul Parmar, said, “By using prohibited word for honourable Mahesh Kanodia and Naresh Kanodia at a public meeting, Deputy CM Nitin Patel has insulted the two deceased personalities and the entire Dalit community.”
“We have issued a warning to Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel to apologise for the word used by him within 24 hours. If he does not apologise, then his effigies will be burnt across the state on Tuesday evening. Also, opposition will be registered at all his (Patel’s) future public functions till he tenders an apology,” he added.
Nitin Patel could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
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