Dalit leader from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday extended his support to Hardik Patel after two videos purportedly featuring the Patidar leader were circulated on social media. While one clip purportedly shows Patel with a woman in a room, the other allegedly shows him drinking with a group of people.
In a Facebook post, Mevani said the tapes were an example of how low can politics stoop. “The entire system is trying to silence the voice of a 24-year-old leader, from charging him with sedition to releasing sex CD,” he said.
The Dalit leader said those who made and released the videos have committed a crime by violating a person’s right to privacy. He also said he did not believe that the man in the video was Patel. “But for argument’s sake, if we believe it is Patel, what is wrong with that?...The Bharatiya Janata Party should focus on the promises they made in the 2012 manifesto, and not release sex CD.”
He said the people of Gujarat should be aware that those can ensure that the police, senior IPS officers spy on a single woman for “saheb”, they can surely invade the bedrooms of people to keep a check on them. Mevani was referring to a case when Amit Shah, who was then the Gujarat home minister, was accused of allegedly using the police machinery for illegal surveillance of a woman.
“Hardik Patel and I may disagree on several issues,” said Mevani. “But I am against such personal attacks. I assure Hardik publicly that not only me, but thousands of Dalit youths are with you. Those who are entering others’ bedrooms to make sex CDs, can never help Gujarat develop.”
The row over the CDs comes at a time when political parties are strengthening their campaign for the upcoming Assembly election. Gujarat will go to polls on December 9 and December 14.