‘Oust Narendra Modi at all costs’ was the one-point agenda at a gigantic farmers’ convention in which several BJP dissidents held centrestage along with Congress stalwarts here on Friday.
“All the farmers have come here on their own because they are frustrated and fed up with Modi and his government’s anti-farmer policies and stands,” said Vitthal Radadia, kisan leader and Congress MLA from Saurashtra. Radadia was the man behind the mega farmer convention and its success in terms of the big attendance.
“The state government doesn’t have even a tiny piece of land to give to a poor farmer. But it magnanimously gives acres to industrialists.
The previous government used to give 42 per cent electricity to the farmers. Modi reduced it to 27 per cent and gave the remaining 15 per cent to industrialists,” said Radadia.
Leading BJP dissident and home minister in the previous BJP government during the Godhra riots Gordhan Zadaphia said: “Modi has committed so many sins on the hallowed land of Mahatma Gandhi’s origins that all those who vote against him in the coming Assembly elections will earn a lot of punya. Women are raped and killed by the day while he keeps boasting that they are the most protected lot in Gujarat.”
BJP dissident Dhiru Gajera from Surat described Modi as “the biggest terrorist” in the country.
“There is just no limit to this man’s crimes. He will go to any level to win the coming polls. But we farmers and others will defeat his deadly designs,” he said.
Another BJP dissident and emerging Dalit leader Siddharth Parmar also urged the congregation to throw out the Modi government. Parmar promised to organise a mega Dalit rally in Rajkot well before the elections. “Like farmers, Dalits are also disillusioned with Modi and his government. More than one lakh Dalits from every corner of Gujarat will attend the rally,” he said.
Dissident BJP MP and prominent Koli leader, Soma Ganda, said, “The Koli community contributes 18 per cent to the population of Gujarat. And they, too, are a disappointed and disillusioned lot. Our community won’t rest till his government is toppled.”
The one kisan leader conspicuous by his absence was former chief minister Keshubhai Patel. “We haven’t invited him to this convention. But we have his blessings,” claimed Zadaphia.