Young Dalit leader and MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mewani lashed out at the BJP governments at the Centre and state. He called upon Dalits here to stand firm against the atrocities of the Yogi government in Uttar Pradesh.

Mewani urged Dalits not to allow Adityanath to touch the statue of Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar on 14 April, his birth anniversary, if the Bheem Army’s chief, Chandrashekhar alias Ravana, is not released from jail. Chandrashekher has been in jail ever since he was arrested 10 months before in connection with violence in Saharanpur.

Addressing a rally organised by Dalit Front students here on Monday, Mewani joined other Dalit leaders to demand restoration of democracy. Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Adityanath, Mewani said in Gujarat the Vijay Rupani government has been given a deadline of 1 April to ensure land to landless, Dalits and exploited people. “If our demands are not met than we will come on the streets and would not allow the CM to touch the statue of Dr Ambedkar,” said Mewani.

On the murder of a Dalit youth in Allahabad, he said the law and order situation in UP is even worse than in Gujarat. He demanded immediate arrest of the Dalit youth’s killers. Mewani said the Modi and Yogi governments are targeting him and Chandrashekher in order to divert people from core issues of ‘ Roti, Kapda, Makaan, chikitsa and Rojgaar’.

He said the Union Budget had allocated Rs 111750 crore less for Dalits, deprived and scheduled tribes. “They target us because we raise these issues,” he said . Mewani urged Muslims and Dalits to unite before 2019 and said that women and youngsters will prevent Modi and Yogi from becoming PM and CM.

He recalled the Modi government’s promise of 2 crore jobs every year. Mewani urged them to provide these jobs at least to youths of RSS, BJP and ABVP because Dalits, Muslims and youths of other oppressed class do no expect to get them. “I am ready to quit public life if they succeed,” he taunted.

Mewani accused Modi of having a tacit understanding with Pakistan which could lead to a war ahead of the election in 2019. “It could be their new gimmick to divert people’s’ attention from basic issues of both countries,” he said.