Guwahati, Sep 19 (IANS): Congress' Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on Tuesday said that instead of India vs Bharat row, the issues of unemployment, and poverty must find place in the political discussion.
Talking to media persons after appearing before a court in Assam’s Barpeta town in connection with a complaint lodged against him at the Barpeta Road Police Station, Mevani, asked what he thought of the India vs. Bharat controversy, opined that it shouldn't matter what the country is called as long as its growth is prioritised.
"No matter what you want to name it -- India, Bharat, Hindustan, the fact remains that four crore people in the nation lack access to power. There are between 35 and 40 crore unemployed persons in the nation. These are the important topics that need to be discussed," he said.
"About 18 to 20 crore individuals lack a permanent home. Out of every 100 youngsters, 40 to 45 are underweight. Out of every 100 women, 50 to 55 have anaemia. Suicides are being committed by farmers, unorganised workers, students, and young people without jobs. So, whatever name you choose for the nation, these issues must come first," he added.
Mevani claimed that the court had absolved him of the charges he had been facing under sections 294 and 353 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which pertain to using violence against a public servant in order to prevent them from carrying out their duties. Two further sections filed against him in the lawsuit are still being considered, though.
"Today was a hearing on my release application and two portions, Section 294 and 353, were removed from my case by the court. There are now only two more sections left for which the lawsuit will proceed. The next month is when the next hearing will take place, and I shall return then.
"On the specified date, I shall come before the honourable court and complete the procedure. I have respect for the law and the court. I'll deal with whatever comes my way," he said.
On the ‘INDIA’ bloc, Mevani said: "I have not yet attended any ‘INDIA’ meetings; however, the coalition will work well. Assam, Gujarat, and the rest of the country will benefit from it."
He criticised the BJP-led government for its leaders' protracted silence on the injustices women have to endure across the nation.
"I want to ask the BJP what it was doing when naked women were paraded through the streets of Manipur. Why is the BJP quiet when Dalit women are sexually assaulted in Madhya Pradesh? When such crimes are reported, they ought to speak up. Women must be respected, whether they live in India or somewhere else in the globe."
In April 2022, Mevani was freed from prison after completing all necessary legal procedures in Assam's Kokrajhar. He was accused of attacking a policewoman while being driven by a police posse from Guwahati to Kokrajhar, and the court sent him to five days police custody.
Mevani had allegedly tweeted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "considered Godse as God" and had been apprehended by an Assam Police posse in connection with that social media post.