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Modi govt poses threat to democracy, Constitution: Jignesh Mevani

An elected representative is not allowed to speak. This is extremely unfortunate: Mevani

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Jignesh Mevani
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani (centre), former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar (left) and farmers’ leader Akhil Gogoi, with the picture of Dalit outfit Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad in the background, during a rally in New Delhi. Photo: PTI

The government poses a "threat" to the country's democracy and Constitution, said on Tuesday at a for which the Police had refused permission.

The newly-elected MLA from Vadgam in Gujarat termed the refusal to grant permission to the 'Yuva Hunkar' rally in an example of the "Gujarat model" of

"The 125 crore people of this country are watching that someone is not being allowed to speak for merely demanding the release of Chandrashekhar Azad, effective implementation of the Constitution and two crore jobs to the youth.

"If an elected representative does not have the right to do so, then this is Gujarat model," Mevani said to loud cheers from a crowd comprising student activists from Delhi, Lucknow and Allahabad among other places.

The rally -- held in in the heart of the capital where prohibitory orders are in force through the year -- was demanding the release of Dalit outfit Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad.

The gathering also sought to emphasise issues like educational rights, employment, livelihood and gender justice.

Mevani said he will stand guard against the of hatred and stick to constitutional values and the "of love", along the lines of statements made by Congress President Rahul Gandhi after the Gujarat polls.

"I believe in politics of unity. I believe in politics of love, not love jihad. Alpesh Thakore, Hardik Patel and I are being targeted because we demolished their (BJP) pride and arrogance in Gujarat..There's a looming threat to our democracy and Constitution today," he said.

Although authorities had maintained till the last minute that Mevani and his supporters did not have permission to hold the event, it seems the rally organisers and Police reached a compromise later.

The rally, which began around 1 pm, saw a modest turnout.

Former and current JNU student leaders, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid and Umar Khalid were present on the stage, metres away from the Police Station.

Assam farmers leader Akhil Gogoi and senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan were also present, apart from students from JNU, University, Lucknow University and Allahabad University among others.

Azad (30) was arrested in June last year from Himachal Pradesh as he is the main accused in Thakur-Dalit clashes in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district.

His supporters turned up with posters bearing his image.

First Published: Wed, January 10 2018. 00:48 IST