Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday questioned the rationale behind the sedition charges against Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel, adding that it should instead be slapped against Maharashtra Minister Eknath Khadse, who is facing charges of impropriety and alleged links with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
In a video message posted on Aam Aadmi party (AAP)’s Gujarat Twitter handle, Kejriwal said that Hardik Patel, who has been in prison for more than eight months, had merely raised his voice for the rights of Gujaratis.
“Hardik Patel is in jail for the last eight months and he has been charged with sedition. People told me that they are very upset with this. What is the mistake of Hardik Patel? He raised his voice for Guajarati’s and fought for their rights. He never raised voice against the nation. He never spoke of breaking the nation,” he said.
Asserting that Patel’s demands were the same as that of lakhs of Gujaratis, Kejriwal demanded to know if the government would label all those as ‘anti-national’.
He also said that Patel never spoke a word on dividing the nation, whereas Khadse had links with someone who is an enemy of the nation.
“Now, there is a Maharashtra Minister, Khadse sahib. His alleged conversation with Dawood Ibrahim, who is the enemy of the nation, came to light. That way Khadse is ‘deshdrohi’, but government takes no action, instead, it takes action against Hardik Patel,” he added.
Concluding his message, the Delhi Chief Minister said it is not right to insult the people of Gujarat.
There are charges of sedition against Hardik, after he purportedly told a member of his community to kill policemen.
Patel was arrested on October 19 last year by the Rajkot Police after an FIR was filed against him at the Paddhari police station in connection with the matter.
Earlier today, Khadse resigned from his post following allegations of impropriety with regard to a land deal and alleged calls from underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
He met Fadnavis amid reports, that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had begun the process to act against him.
The development came after Fadnavis met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi late on Thursday night, hours after he gave a report to BJP chief Amit Shah on Khadse.
The most senior minister in the Fadnavis government is facing serious allegation over an illicit land deal and his cellphone allegedly appearing in the call records of most-wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim.