In Alibaug to attend the ninth convention of the Sambhaji Brigade Maharashtra, an outfit aligned to the Maratha Kranti Morcha, Patidar leader Hardik Patel said on Saturday that the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will bring out the power of the people against the “beimaanon ki sarkar (government of the dishonest)”.
Four days after a boat carrying passengers to the site of the proposed Shivaji statue in the Arabian Sea capsised after it hit a submerged rock, resulting in one death, Patel said: “The BJP government is only making a show of building the Shivaji statue and setting its agenda to get votes.” It will take more than 15 years to complete the Shivaji memorial project, he claimed.
“The government could have instead used the money to give loans to farmers or securing jobs for the youth… they would have been more grateful. In Maharashtra, many villages are affected by drought and many farmers commit suicide. This cannot be called achche din. So, I am going to call the people to join hands against this government,” Patel said.
In the run up to the Lok Sabha elections, Patel dismissed speculation over him joining the Congress. “I am against the government and I will not make any political connections with the Congress,” he told The Indian Express.
Extending his support to the Maratha Kranti Morcha, Patel, while addressing a gathering of over 200, said: “What was Devendra Fadnavis doing when the Maratha Kranti Morch silently protested 52 times? The government left them with no option but to become aggressive.”
“Everyone says that every different group is demanding reservation, whether it is the Patidars or the Marathas, but no one is going to the root of this. Reservation is demanded when people don’t have jobs or food. So, if the government provides that, I will stop demanding reservation,” Patel said.
Chants of ‘Jai Maharashtra’, ‘Garvi Gujarat’, ‘Jai Jijau’, ‘Jai Shivrai’ were interspersed in his address.