Mevani holds youth rally in Delhi

NEW DELHI, DHNS: Newly elected Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on Tuesday conducted a youth rally in the national capital, despite the police having refused permission for it.

The Dalit leader attacked the Modi government at the event saying it was a threat to India's democracy and the Constitution.

The Yuva Hunkar Rally began in the afternoon after speculation that it may not be conducted as the police refused permission to conduct it on Parliament Street.

Mevani described the police denying permission for the rally as an example of the "Gujarat model" of politics.

"We are demonstrating democratically and peacefully. The government is targeting us. An elected representative is not being allowed to speak. If an elected representative does not have the right to do so, then this is Gujarat model," he said.

The rally was held with a series of demands, including better employment opportunities, educational rights, livelihood and gender justice, besides the release of Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police for protesting against atrocities committed on Dalits.

Anti-corruption activist Akhil Gogoi, senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former JNU student leaders, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid and Umar Khalid, were present.

"I believe in the politics of unity. I believe in the politics of love, not love jihad. Alpesh Thakore, Hardik Patel and I are being targeted because we demolished the BJP's pride and arrogance in Gujarat. There's a looming threat to our democracy and Constitution today," he said.

"Corruption, poverty, unemployment and other real issues are being swept under the carpet while ghar wapasi, love jihad and cows are coming into forefront. We stand against that," he said.

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