Monday, November 28, 2022

Nadda calls Cong ‘anti-Gujarat’ after Medha Patkar joins yatra

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda on Saturday termed Congress “anti-Gujarat” after Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar joined Rahul Gandhi-led ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Maharashtra, drawing a sharp reaction from the Grand Old Party which alleged the BJP is devoid of issues to set up a narrative in the poll-bound state.
Nadda, who is campaigning in Gujarat, also said Patkar is “anti-Narmada, anti-Gujarat and anti-Saurashtra” who tried to stall the construction of the Narmada dam and opposed the use of water for the people of Saurashtra.
“If such people join Rahul Gandhi, it reflects his mentality,” he told reporters.
Reacting to Nadda’s remarks, Congress leader Raghu Sharma on Saturday said since the BJP is devoid of issues for the next month’s Assembly elections, it was raising the issue of Medha Patkar, a prominent Narmada Bacha Andolan leader, joining the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
The official handle of ‘Bharat Jodo’ on Friday tweeted a photo of Patkar with Gandhi along with a caption, “When you do something for the society, people involved in social welfare themselves join you… Social activist Medha Patkar participated in ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra”.
Patkar had led a protest for the tribals displaced by the Narmada dam project in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
“Patkar is “anti-Narmada, anti-Gujarat and anti-Saurashtra who tried to stall the construction of the Narmada dam and opposed the use of water for the people of Saurashtra. If such people join Rahul Gandhi, it reflects his mentality. The Congress is also anti-Gujarat. There is no doubt about that,” Nadda told reporters.
Hitting back at BJP, Sharma said how can you stop anyone from joining the Congress party’s Yatra.
“If someone wants to walk together, how can you stop him or her? BJP is devoid of issues (for elections). It should talk about inflation, hatred, employment, and economy — the issues on which the Yatra has been taken out,” Sharma told reporters in Rajkot.
“What has Medha Patkar got to do with Gujarat elections? The BJP is worried as it is devoid of better issues to form a poll narrative and that is why it brings Patkar into the picture,” he alleged.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Friday tweeted, “Congress and Rahul Gandhi have time and again shown their animosity towards Gujarat and Gujaratis. By giving Medha Patkar a central place in his Yatra, Rahul Gandhi shows that he stands with those elements who denied water to Gujaratis for decades. Gujarat will not tolerate this”.
CM Patel had in August alleged that “urban Naxals” had opposed the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river to deprive the state and arid Kutch region of water and development.
While addressing a gathering in Bhuj in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Patel also alleged that activist and Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar was an “urban Naxal” who had received political support as well.
‘Urban Naxal’ term is often used by some segments of the political spectrum to describe sympathisers of the Naxalism cause as well as certain social activists.

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