Congress behind Mevani visit, says BJP

Mevani has a history of inflammatory speeches and using controversial language and there are cases against him in Gujarat and Maharashtra where he has held public meetings, Rathore said.

jaipur Updated: Apr 16, 2018 22:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan news
Rural development and panchayatiraj minister Rajendra Rathore interacts with media persons at party office in Jaipur on Monday. (HT PHOTO)

State cabinet minister Rajendra Rathore on Monday said that the Congress was behind Gujarat MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani’s Nagaur public meeting and wanted to destroy communal harmony in Rajasthan.

Addressing a press conference, Rathore said the organiser of the April 15 rally was Jassaram Meghwal, whose wife Nathu Devi was a panchayat samiti member from the Congress party. “The Congress stands exposed. This episode proves that it wants to destroy communal harmony in the state,” said Rathore.

Rathore said Mevani wanted to give inflammatory speeches. Mevani has a history of inflammatory speeches and using controversial language and there are cases against him in Gujarat and Maharashtra where he has held public meetings, he said.

On April 2 (during the Bharat Bandh) there were 14 cases of violence in Nagaur and section 144 is in force in the district but Mevani wanted to go there and it could lead to tension, he said.

Mevani was detained in Jaipur on Sunday and was stopped from going to Merta Road in Nagaur where he was supposed to attend a programme on Ambedkar Jayanti.

Rathore said Mevani has announced a Rozgar Yatra in May-June. “Mevani is perhaps not aware that the Rajasthan government has given employment to 13 lakh people.”

“Around 1,79,000 people have been recruited in government jobs while recruitment of another 1,08,000 is underway. Advertisements have been taken out for another 75,000 government jobs,” said Rathore.

Condemning the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, Rathore said the two BJP MLAs who had taken part in the rally in support of the Kathua gangrape accused have resigned. “But the Jammu and Kashmir Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir has not resigned, which exposes the hypocrisy of the Congress.”

He took a dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s candle march and said it would have been appreciable if he had also spoken out at the time of the Nirbhaya gangrape and the 1984 Sikh riots.

He said Rajasthan has brought in a strict law on rape, especially of minors. The new law proposes the death penalty for rape of minors below the age of 12.

“The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2018 has been passed in the assembly. After Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan is the only other state which has brought in a strict law proposing the death penalty for the rape of minors below the age of 12 years.”

He said since this was an issue on the concurrent list, the state has written to the President of India for his assent to the bill.

Referring to MNREGA payment, Rathore who is Panchayati Raj minister, said the state government has received Rs1303 crore from the Centre. “We have made payments of Rs651 crore and we have Rs652 crore as advance payment,” he said.

He said Rs925 crore payment that was due for the material component had also been received and the payment would be made by April 18.

Rathore said under the Pradhan Mantri Away Yojana (PMAY), 4,71,000 lakh houses had been sanctioned of which over 3 lakh had been completed. The remaining would be completed in the next three months.

He said under PMAY, Rajasthan has received Rs4518 crore and spent Rs4552 crore. The state would get another Rs805 crore in the second instalment.

First Published: Apr 16, 2018 22:19 IST