Urban Naxals Tried to Deprive Kutch of Development: CM Bhupendra Patel
While addressing a gathering in Bhuj in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Sunday lashed out at ‘urban Naxals’. He alleged that ‘urban Naxals’ had opposed the ambitious Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river. They had wanted to deprive the state and arid Kutch region of water and development, he said.
Earlier, Modi inaugurated the 357.18-km-long Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) that stretches from the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam in Narmada district 750 km away, to the last of the villages of Gujarat’s Mandvi taluka, Mod Kuba. Built at the cost of Rs 6493 crore, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) officials acclaim KBC as the “longest branch canal in the world”.
Patel in his speech targeted activist and Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar, calling her an ‘urban Naxal’. Without naming any political party, the CM alleged that Patkar had received political patronage. Patkar had unsuccessfully fought the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Mumbai North East on an AAP ticket.
“On this occasion, when Narmada water has reached Kutch, we should also remember who were those people who had deprived Kutch from getting this water for nearly five decades. We all know who were those urban Naxals who had opposed the Narmada dam project. These people had tried to bring the Naxal ideology to Gujarat by misguiding the people of the state. But smart people of Gujarat did not let them succeed,” said Patel.
The CM lauded Modi’s struggle against ‘anti-Narmada and anti-Gujarat elements’. “As the Gujarat CM, he had even sat on a fast against the then Central government (under the Congress-led UPA) for the cause. Within 17 days of assuming the office of the Prime Minister, Modi gave permission to install gates on the dam. He has transformed Kutch by bringing Narmada water here,” said Patel.