Mevani slams Athawale, asks dalits to celebrate Apr 14 as 'Sangharsh Diwas'

Young dalit activist and legislator Jignesh Mevani hit back at Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale, who advised him to shun Naxalites and Maoists as they were by nature anti-dalit.

"Our stand is absolutely clear. We don't believe in ideology of RSS or one that supports any type of violence. We totally believe in the Constitution. Instead of advising me, Athawaleji should advise Narendra Modi to assure the Dalits of this country that their rights will be protected," Mevani said in a video message that he shared on social media. Mevani sought assurance from Modi government that it would bring in an ordinance before April 14, the birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar, should the Apex Court reject the review petition.

Athawale, who was in Surat on Sunday, had said that Modi government was not anti-dalit and that the Centre had already moved Supreme Court against its observations on SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Dubbing Athawale and Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Udit Raj as "Hanumans" of PM, Mevani said they should demand impeachment of the two Supreme Court judges who diluted the Atrocities Act. "He should also advise persons like Hegde, who says that there is nothing like secularism and if the country needs to be saved, there should not be any Muslims in it. He should advise the people of the RSS who want to change the Constitution," Mevani added.

Dalit diwas

The legislator from Vadgaam also released a second video on Monday, asking dalits to oberserve April 14 as Dalit Sangharsh diwas and oppose BJP nationally. He said that by not putting up the case of dalits and tribals strongly before the Supreme Court, they have acted against the interests of these two communities. He advised dalits not to allow BJP leaders anywhere near statue of Dr Ambedkar on April 14.

"The prime minister during his election campaign in 2014 had promised 2 crore jobs every year. Now youth of this country should hurl chairs in the air at his functions and ask him where are the jobs he promised?" Mevani said at a function in Ahmedabad.

Meanwhile, Athawale also said that Congress benefitted in last Assembly polls in Gujarat primarily due to leadership of Hardik Patel and not of Rahul Gandhi. He also advised Hardik and Patel community to approach the Prime Minister if they want reservation, rather than Rahul, who he said had no power to deliver reservation.

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