While Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday campaigned in Vadgam, where the party is supporting Independent candidate Jignesh Mevani, the BJP accused the Dalit leader of receiving funds from Social Democratic Party of India, a political wing of Popular Front of India (PFI), which has been accused of terror links. Mevani denied the charges and threatened to file a defamation suit againt the BJP once the elections are over.
Addressing mediapersons in Ahmedabad on Saturday, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed that SDPI had confirmed giving Mevani election funds. He also asked why the Congress was “silent” on the issue. “It is serious that (the) Congress is mum on SDPI’s financial help to Mevani. Not only this, it is (also) campaigning for him,” Patra said.
He added it is not the BJP but the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which says that the PFI is a terror outfit. Recently, the NIA had submitted a report to the Union Home Ministry alleging that the Kerala-based outfit has links with terror activities. The PFI had denied the allegations and said that the agency had never approached them about their activities.
Denying the charges, Mevani told The Sunday Express that he is taking help of crowdfunding. “Anyone can contribute to our party. The force, which encourages black money and corruption and allows (only) a few corporates to grow, are questioning our funding,” Mevani said, hitting back at the BJP. He also threatened to file a defamation case against the BJP. “Let the Assembly elections get over, then I will file a case of defamation against the BJP. They say we have received money from terrorist organisations. But let me tell you that we have not received any fund from the BJP or RSS. These forces need to be put in dustbin…” Mevani said.