ADDRESSING a gathering in Parbhani town of Marathwada, Independent legislator from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani on Tuesday urged people to vote out casteism and communalism, and instead choose Constitutionalism.
“Na Khan chahiye, na baan chahiye; hamein apna jeevan chaan chahiye (We don’t want communal politics, people want better lives),” he said. Mevani was speaking at the Parbhani leg of the ‘Samvidhan Sanmaan Yatra’ organised by his Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch. On Monday, he launched a local unit of the outfit in Latur’s Udgir.
In Parbhani, Mevani also touched upon pressing local issues including water scarcity and the continuing agrarian crisis. “Farmers are being turned into beggars by poor policy-making,” he said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Mevani indicated that Maharashtra’s upcoming Assembly elections are too proximate for him to consider any active role, but that he was keen to test the waters and understand the mood of the people especially in rural parts of the state.
He expressed disappointment at the failure of various non-NDA parties in Maharashtra to come together to put up a united front in the general elections as well as in the coming Assembly elections. He said it is unfortunate that politics continues to be divisive.
“This trend to see people only as Hindus, Muslims, Dalits has to stop. Leaders have to start seeing people as people first,” Mevani said.
The Gujarat model that the BJP has presented as a blueprint for development of other states where it has gained power is a mirage, he said.
“There is tremendous scope for development in Maharashtra, and yet there is neither adequate drinking water nor irrigation in a region such as Marathwada,” he said, speaking against the Narendra Modi-led Union government’s policies.
Mevani is scheduled to address a public meeting in Aurangabad on Wednesday.