Mevani calls on young people to disrupt Modi’s speech in Karnataka to demand jobs
Dalit leader and independent legislator from Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani, on Friday stoked a controversy after he asked Karnataka voters to throw chairs in the air during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally, tentatively scheduled for April 15, and demand that he provide the promised 20 million jobs.
Mevani made the statement while addressing a press conference in Chitradurga. “Karnataka’s youth’s role can be on April 15 to go to Modi’s rally and throw chairs in the air and disturb the function. And then ask him what happened to the 20 million jobs,” Mevani said.
“If he has no answer, then tell him to retire to the Himalayas and sleep there.”
The BJP took exception to this and filed a case against the Vadgam legislator for his remarks with the deputy commissioner of Chitradurga district.
State BJP spokesperson S Prakash said the remarks amounted to an incitement to violence. “His statement is an incitement to violence and a threat against the security of the prime minister. Moreover, it is also an attempt to disrupt the peace prevailing in the state.”
Prakash said a complaint would also be filed with the Election Commission, asking it to ban him from addressing any press conferences or public meetings. “The model code of conduct is in place and, hence, any attempt to incite violence must be punished. For this reason, we will ask the commission to ban Mevani from addressing any public meeting.”
Responding to the developments, Mevani said his remark was made in jest. “I had only suggested that people throw chairs in the air and not at anybody. Besides, this is a form of protest that was used against BJP president Amit Shah by patidars in the run-up to the Gujarat elections,” he said.
“The BJP is afraid of me, afraid that I am exposing it. They try and clamp down on the voices that ask them about the 20 million jobs the youth were promised,” Mevani said. “I am here to tell people that the BJP will only talk about temples and mosques, and graveyards and mosques. I appeal to the youth to come out on to the streets and ask Modi, when he visits Bengaluru, to speak about his promise of 20 million jobs, else he must retire to the Himalayas.”