Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, who has been accused of instigating the recent violence against Hindi-speaking people in Gujarat, will go on a sadhbhavna (goodwill) fast on Thursday to establish “peace and harmony”, PTI reported.
Thakor has also invited migrants from Hindi-speaking states, their leaders and the chief ministers of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to join the fast at Sabarmati Ashram, said his associate Mukesh Bharwad.
“Neither of them have confirmed their presence,” Bharwad said, referring to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Adityanath. “Our aim is to send a message that we are not against anyone. All we want is peace and harmony in Gujarat.”
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat has blamed Thakor and his outfit, Kshatriya-Thakor Sena, for the outbreak of violence against migrant workers, leading to an exodus of more than 60,000 people so far. Violence has been reported from six districts in the northern part of the state after a native of Bihar was arrested for allegedly raping a 14-month-old girl from the Thakor community in Sabarkantha district on September 28. After the incident, a video showed Alpesh Thakor purportedly making a speech against migrant workers.
The Congress leader wrote to Kumar and Adityanath on Tuesday, claiming that people from their states were leaving Gujarat because of rumours. “Neither me nor any of my Thakor Sena members are involved in the attacks on people from UP and Bihar,” he wrote, according to The Times of India. “It is a political game against me.”
Thakor told the two leaders that he wants justice for a 14-month-old girl from the Thakor community who was allegedly raped, but “some people” have politicised the matter. “Every person of UP [or] Bihar, who comes to Gujarat with lots of expectations, are my brothers,” he said. “Their families are my families.”
Thakor condemned the violence against the migrant workers on Tuesday but claimed they were leaving the state because of the upcoming Chhath festival.