Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gujarat unit president C R Paatil on Wednesday termed activist Medha Patkar an “urban Naxal” and a “staunch anti-Gujarat person”, and claimed the AAP is planning to project her as its chief ministerial face in the upcoming state Assembly elections. However, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) refuted Paatil’s claim and accused the ruling BJP of spreading rumours.
Last week, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel had also termed Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar as an “urban Naxal” for opposing the ambitious Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river in Gujarat, and claimed that she had also received political support in the past. Notably, Patkar had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Mumbai North East as an AAP candidate.
“That AAP gave a Lok Sabha ticket to a person who committed the sin of depriving parched regions of Kutch and Saurashtra region of the Narmada water for nearly 15 years. That person, Medha Patkar, is an urban Naxal,” Paatil said while addressing party workers in Vadodara on Wednesday. ‘Urban Naxal’ term is often used by some segments of the political spectrum to describe sympathisers of the Naxalism cause as well as certain social activists.
“Patkar had once said that she will make sure that the Sardar Sarovar dam never gets completed. She tried hard to stall the project. And when the dam got completed, she vowed to stop the water from reaching Kutch and Saurashtra,” Paatil alleged.
“AAP is now planning to project such a staunch anti-Gujarat person as the party’s CM face in Gujarat. We must not let such a party enter (win elections in) Gujarat. I appeal to all of you to stay alert,” the BJP MP from Navsari said.
Assembly elections in Gujarat are expected to be held in December this year. The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has already announced 29 candidates for the 182-member Gujarat House. AAP’s Gujarat unit president Gopal Italia categorically denied that his party is planning to project Patkar as the chief ministerial face of the state.
“I out rightly refute this rumour that Patkar is our CM face in Gujarat. She has not been with the party for the last seven years. She neither holds any post in AAP nor is she active in public life. Rumours about such a person proves that the BJP is left with no real issues,” Italia said. He added that AAP will never entertain any anti-national or anti-Gujarat people.
With inputs from News18