Gujarat CM change fails to impress, Dalits say nothing will change

  • Hiral Dave, Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
  • Updated: Aug 07, 2016 00:42 IST
The Patidars and the Dalits have expressed little hope from the change of guard in Gujarat from Anandiben Patel to Rupani, brought in by the BJP before the crucial 2017 assembly elections. (PTI file photo)

Vijay Rupani will be sworn in as the new chief minister of Gujarat on Sunday, almost a week after Anandiben Patel stepped down to give way to a “younger leader”.

Rupani’s task is cut out to revive the plummeting popularity of the party among its key vote banks following the Patidar agitation for OBC status and Dalit outrage over flogging of seven community members by cow vigilantes. But both the affected sections have expressed little hope from the change brought in by the BJP before the crucial 2017 assembly elections.

“Change of the chief minister would hardly make any difference to the family of Una victims in particular and Dalits in general,” said Keval Rathod, a relative of the Una victims and also Gujarat convener of Samajik Jagruti Ekta Mission.

“In the past, Rupani has not given a single statement to pacify the Dalit outrage. Besides, the compensation was given by the social justice and welfare department as normally provided in cases of atrocities. Anandiben did not release any aid from Mukhya Mantri Sahay Nidhi to show solidarity with the family. This system is not going to change,” Rathod added.

Jitu Sarvaiya, another relative of the victims, said, “They(BJP) protected the gau rakshaks and not us. We do not know if the new government will do anything.”

The Dalits have maintained that not the face, but only change in the system can bring good days for them in Gujarat where untouchability is still prevalent in almost 50% of the total 18,000 villages.

The developments in the last two days have only angered the Patidar community. While the HC quashing 10 per cent EBC quota ordinance was expected, the seemingly dramatic event where in senior minister Nitin Patel, who was billed to be the new CM for previous 24 hours, was appointed the deputy led to Patidars burning down posters of Rupani and BJP president Amit Shah.

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