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BJP labels Rahul Gandhi 'anti-Gujarat' as activist Medha Patkar joins Bharat Jodo Yatra in Maharashtra

Medha has been the driving force behind the 'Narmada Bachao Andolan' social movement
Last Updated : 19 November 2022, 07:32 IST
Last Updated : 19 November 2022, 07:32 IST

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Rahul Gandhi's cross-country 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' has been garnering a lot of attention ever since he hit the road on Sept. 7. Gandhi was recently joined by Narmada activist Medha Patkar on his yatra, which is currently moving through Maharashtra. Photos of Medha with Gandhi, who had his arm around the senior activist, drew sharp criticism from the BJP, which labelled the Congress leader as "anti-Gujarat".

With the Gujarat Assembly polls on the horizon, the state's Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel was one of those to lash out at Gandhi. "Congress and Rahul Gandhi have time and again shown their animosity towards Gujarat and Gujaratis," he tweeted. "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."

Medha has been the driving force behind the 'Narmada Bachao Andolan' social movement. She has been heavily criticised for her role in the agitation against Gujarat's Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River due to its impact on thousands of tribals and other families. Medha has also been accused of money laundering by the BJP.

The 'Narmada Bachao Andolan' was begun in 1985 and has questioned the impact of dams on the environment and on families who live near the river.

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya was another who slammed Gandhi. He tweeted, "Medha Patkar, who spearheaded the campaign against Gujarat's ambitious Sardar Sarovar Project, did everything to stall the progress of Narmada Yojana, including blocking funds, joins Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. The Congress has always been anti-Gujarat and it continues..."

The BJP's Vijay Rupani told ANI media agency that the Congress had shown its "true face". "Medha Patkar was the person who didn't let the Narmada dam project complete," he said. "She protested over it and didn't let Gujarat's development happen. Now, Patkar joined Bharat Jodo yatra, which shows Congress is against development and is their true face."

Gandhi had earlier accused the BJP of rigging the polls using social media. "Even if the EVM [electronic voting machine] is secure, Indian elections may be rigged through social media," he had said. "If large social media companies want, they can make any party win an election. Systematic bias is being applied there and my social media handles are a live example of it."

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Published 19 November 2022, 05:46 IST

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