Dalit leader and Independent MLA from Gujarat’s Vadgam constituency, Jignesh Mevani, on Sunday hit out at the BJP and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje after he was prevented from delivering a speech on Indian Constitution and B R Ambedkar in Nagaur district by Rajasthan administration. The restriction on Mevani was imposed on the ground that his public speech may create a law and order problem in the region.
Mevani was scheduled to deliver the speech at a function organised by Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar Jayanti Samaroh Samiti as part of Ambedkar’s 127th birth anniversary celebrations.
Around 12 noon when Mevani landed at Jaipur airport, he was handed over an order, dated April 14, issued by Nagaur District Magistrate Kumar Pal Gautam, saying his entry has been banned in Nagaur under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) between April 15 and 30. Mevani was given another order passed by Additional Commissioner of Police, Jaipur, Nitin Deep Blaggan which also barred him from holding any public event, rally or delivering a speech in Jaipur city for the same period. Both the orders said that violation of them would invite police action.
“For the past two hours, I am asking the on duty DCP of Jaipur whether he has any order to restrict my movement, he has no answer. He saying ‘upar se bola hai’… He took away local Dalit activist’s mobile (phone) also. As per (the) law, this is a case of legally confining me, if not kidnapping. Shame,” Mevani tweeted soon after he landed in Jaipur.
Mevani also hit out at the BJP and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. “If (RSS chief Mohan) Bhagwat was going to Nagaur district of Rajasthan to talk about Manusmriti, Raje would have allowed him. But since I was supposed to talk about the philosophy of Baba Saheb Ambedkar, they are restricting my movements. Vasundhara ji, hamara bhi vada raha chunav me maza aayega (Vasundhara ji, I promise u that we will have an interesting elections),” he tweeted. Rajasthan goes to polls later this year.
Later speaking with The Indian Express, Mevani accused BJP president Amit Shah of being behind the Rajasthan adminstration’s order of not allowing him to hold a public event in the state. “All this is being done at the behest of top political leadership of BJP, Amit Shah, in view of the upcoming assembly elections in the state. But, I am also determined to come and stay in Rajasthan,” Mevani said.