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‘On one hand Hardik calls for social harmony, on the other, he calls protesting Dalits, goons’ says one Dalit leader

The man behind Patidar reservation stir, Hardik Patel and his new friend Jignesh Mevani were seen supporting opposite parties involved in a land dispute.

The land dispute came to light when 5 Dalit families of the Gitapur village in Ahmedabad sat on an indefinite fast at the mamlatdar’s office in Detroj. They were demanding residential plots for themselves. Dalit leader and independent MLA from Vadgam, Jignesh Mevani visited the Dalit families and extended his support.

The village has a dominant Patidar population and the Patidar leaders were opposed to the demands of the Dalit families. As per reports, they insisted that the land belongs to the village Panchayat. The Patidar leaders also sat in protest at the mamlatdar’s office.

Things took an interesting turn on January 24th when Hardik Patek visited the Patidars sitting in protest, just a day after Jignesh Mevani’s visit. Hardik had also tweeted about the incident.

The administration quickly intervened and resolved the land issue, allowing the Dalit families to convert their agricultural land to non-agricultural plots to build houses. But the Dalit community was angered over Hardik’s statement. They found his statement offensive and were prepared to protest against him. One Dalit leader Kirti Rathod from Hardik’s own hometown Viramgam stated  “On one hand, he (Hardik) talks about social harmony, and on the other hand, he calls protesting Dalits anti-socials and goons. This is not acceptable. We will launch protests against Hardik, seeking his apology for the comments”.
Hardik and Jignesh Mevani’s friendship saw its peak during the Gujrat Elections. While Hardik was seen openly praising Jignesh, Jignesh had supported Hardik during the infamous sex-CD controversy.

On the land-dispute issue, Jignesh Mevani has stated that Hardik’s statements do pose a challenge but that is what caste system does and he will speak to Hardik over the incident.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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