Gujarat Congress MLA Anant Patel on Saturday alleged an attack on him by BJP members. BJP chief CR Paatil on Sunday called this political drama just to gain sympathy ahead of Gujarat elections. Paatil refuted Congress MLA Anant Patel’s claims that he was attacked by BJP members.
Paatil said “Anant Patel is creating drama to get sympathy as his defeat is clear in upcoming elections because of his lack of performance as MLA. He is not able to find any issue against the government and he is doing such drama just out of fear of losing elections. His supporters burned a shop of our district panchayat president Bhikhubhai Ahir and such offence should result in seven years of imprisonment.”
The Vansda MLA alleged a group of around 50 people, led by Navsari district panchayat president Bhikhubhai Ahir of the BJP, attacked him at Khergam town in the district when he was on his way to meet the village sarpanch Saturday evening.
The attack came just days ahead of the Sangharsh rally from October 10-20 organised by Patel covering the tribal areas from Unai in Navsari to Dholar village in Dabhoi taluka of Vadodara district.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: “In Gujarat, the attack on our MLA Anant Patel – who has been protesting for tribals against the Par Tapi river link project – by the BJP is condemnable. This is the panic of the BJP government. Every worker of the Congress will fight till the last breath for the rights of tribals.”
Dr. Raghu Sharma, In-charge of Gujarat Congress said, “I condemn the attack on Gujarat Congress MLA and tribal community leader Anant Patel. This attack is on the entire tribal society. Anant Patel has been fighting a battle with the BJP government for a long time over the demands of the tribal society and he is agitating for the cancellation of the Par-Tapi Narmada River Link project. Every worker stands with Anant Patel.”
Anant Patel complained to the Khergam police against more than 40 people, including Bhikhubhai Ahir, Rinku Ahir, Kirti Ahir, Ankit Ahir and Dinesh Ahir. The police registered a case under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
On Sunday, Leader of Opposition Sukhram Rathwa and former Gujarat Pradesh Congress chief Amit Chavda, working chief Jignesh Mevani, MLA Sunil Gamit, MLA Anand Chaudhary went to the hospital and met Anant Patel. During this, Sukhram Rathwa said that this cowardly attack is to intimidate the tribal society but the fight for water, forest land will continue.