Launching Aam Aadmi Party’s campaign for the 2017 Gujarat assembly polls, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday attacked Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, equating him with “General Dyer” and tried to woo Patidar community by calling Patel quota agitation leader Hardik Patel as a “patriot”.
Addressing AAP’s first rally in the state, he said BJP and Congress were like “husband and wife” and alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Ahmed Patel work “in unison”.
Kejriwal said after the elections, the ‘aam aadmi’ will sit in the assembly and not the members of Congress and BJP.
Referring to violent clashes between the members of Patel community and police last year, he said “Who gave the firing orders on Patidar quota agitators on August 26 (2015)? They were citizens of India and not terrorists. Fourteen youths died in the police firing. Everybody knows who gave the orders...it was Amit Shah.
“You know who is running the state. It is Amit Shah. First Anandiben Patel was the chief minister, now, its Vijay Rupani, who is just a rubber stamp of Amit Shah,” Kejriwal said.
“I want to ask, what is the fault of Hardik Patel? Why sedition charge was slapped against him? I would like to say that there is no bigger patriot than Hardik Patel and there is no bigger traitor than General Dyer,” Kejriwal said, referring to Shah.
Hardik-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti had many times referred to Amit Shah as “General Dyer”, holding him responsible for the police firing on protesting Patel quota agitators. General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer was a British Indian Army officer responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar.
“Several youths of Patidar community were framed falsely and are still doing the rounds of court,” Kejriwal claimed, adding we will get that leader who ordered firing on Patel youths punished.
“Gujarat government is challenging people that if you raise voice against us, we will not spare you, will trample you, shoot you,” Kajriwal said.
“Last month, we saw how in Una four Dalits were thrashed in front of a police station. Police did nothing. Because those who were beating him were BJP’s goons, and police have a direction not to act against the BJP goons,” he alleged.
“I would like to congratulate the Dalit community, and Jignesh Mevani (a dalit leader) for mobilising the community,” he said.
Giving the example of Delhi, where AAP rose to power after crushing Congress, and also making clear his party’s intent to fight elections in Gujarat, Kejriwal said with the support of common people, defeat BJP and Congress can be defeated.
“After next year elections in Gujarat, aam aadmi will sit in the Gujarat assembly as MLAs and not the members of BJP and Congress,” he said, adding that to realise it party workers will have to work hard.
The AAP national convener said, “BJP and Congress are no different... They are like husband and wife. I have come to know that (PM) Narendra Modi and Ahmed Patel (political advisor to Congress President Sonia Gandhi) work in unison.”