Hardik promises protection for fleeing Biharis

Hardik promises protection for fleeing Biharis

A hoarding of Hardik Patel, assuring protection to Biharis, has been put up at Income Tax Crossing in Patna on Wednesday. DH Photo/MOHAN PRASAD

Even as thousands of Biharis continue to leave Gujarat, Patidar leader Hardik Patel has asked his men to put up posters and hoardings in Patna promising protection to those fleeing the western State.

The hoardings put up on the main thoroughfares of the State Capital here says: “Anyone who feels terrorised in Gujarat, or if anyone is asked to leave Gujarat, may contact Hardik Patel on his helpline number – 9978520793.”

The tag line (on the top) is all the more impressive: “Biharion pe atyachar bardaasht nahin (Will not tolerate any excesses on Biharis)”.

The hoarding is aimed to wean away those who left Gujarat out of fear and returned to their home State (Bihar) vowing never to return to the western State where they faced backlash owing to a rape incident in which the accused was from Bihar.

The ruling parties, the JD(U) and the BJP, have taken a jibe at Patel’s hoardings. “While it’s a common knowledge that the troika of Alpesh Thakore, Hardik Patel and Jignesh Mevani have been supporting those who drove out Biharis from Gujarat, it’s a laughing matter that one of the ‘perpetrators’ is trying to become ‘protector’. Let Hardik come to Patna. We will welcome him with rose,” said JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok.

The BJP was equally critical. “Why has the Congress not taken action against the main suspect Alpesh Thakore - who threw Biharis out of Gujarat. Ironically, Thakore is AICC secretary, in-charge of Bihar affairs,” said senior BJP leader and Nitish’s Cabinet colleague Nand Kishore Yadav here on Wednesday.