Modi govt posses threat to democracy: Jignesh Mevani

Jignesh Mevani

Amid tight security, Mevani's Youth Hunkar rally took place n New Delhi's Connaught Place, barely few kilometre away from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official residence in the national capital.

Meanwhile, posters calling Mevani a deshdrohi (traitor) and sympathizer of naxals have appeared in Parliament Street area ahead of his scheduled rally on Tuesday. Earlier, scores of people gathered around the barricaded Parliament Street for the protest march planned by Mevani. "Since there is an NGT (National Green Tribunal) order that no protest can be staged at Jantar Mantar, we have asked organisers to hold the protest at alternate sites like Ramlila Maidan", senor police officer Ajay Chaudhary has said. Mevani said he will stand guard against the politics of hatred and stick to constitutional values and the "politics of love", along the lines of statements made by Congress President Rahul Gandhi after the Gujarat polls. "Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mevani crushed BJP's target of 150 seats in Gujarat and that is why I am being targetted", he said.

"I am asking a question today, when will 2 crore youth of the nation get jobs", he said.

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Azad, 30, was arrested under the tough National Security Act over Thakur-Dalit clashes in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district past year.

Former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who also addressed the gathering, was welcomed by supporters with his trademark Azadi slogans seeking freedom from all forms of socio-economic and political ills. "BJP isn't a party, it's like a brand new washing machine, where something goes in but comes out sparkling clean". We don't have crowds, I agree. "There's no space for Dalits in the Hindu Rashtra that they envision", JNU student Umar Khalid said at the rally. "Twelve States in India had special status after the BJP government came into being, the autonomy of these States was compromised". The newly elected MLA also said that when he fought elections in Gujarat he always spoke about bringing people together. Akhil Gogoi, Assam's farmer leader and senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan also attended the rally. Almost 15,000 security personnel - armed with water cannons and tear gas - were deployed in areas near Jantar Mantar and Parliament Street in the national capital to prevent protesters from carrying out a march to the Parliament building. Extra troops were also called in from the neighbouring districts.