Narendra Modi addressing a rally for Gujarat elections 2022.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hit out at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for marching with activist Medha Patkar during the party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ over her campaign against the Narmada dam project, which he said has been the state’s lifeline.
Addressing a rally in Gujarat’s Rajkot district ahead of the state elections, PM Modi said, “a Congress leader was seen taking out a padyatra with a woman who stalled the Narmada dam project for three decades.”
The Prime Minister said that the project of building Sardar Sarovar Dam over the Narmada river was stalled for three decades because of legal hurdles created by activists, including Medha Patkar.
He also accused Ms Patkar of defaming Gujarat.
“Ask the Congress when it comes to demand your vote that you are taking out a padyatra by keeping your hand on the shoulders of those who were against Narmada dam,” PM Modi said.
Mr Gandhi was joined by Medha Patkar earlier this week for the padyatra which is currently passing through Maharashtra.
The BJP has been critical of Medha Patkar’s campaign against Gujarat’s ‘Sardar Sarovar Dam’ which was inaugurated in 2017. Ms Patkar spearheaded the ‘Narmada Bachao Aandolan’, saying that the water of the dam would displace thousands of tribal families.
On Saturday, party president JP Nadda said that Medha Patkar is “anti-Narmada, anti-Gujarat and anti-Saurashtra” who tried to stall the construction of the Narmada dam and opposed the use of water for the people of Saurashtra.
“If such people join Rahul Gandhi, it reflects his mentality,” Mr Nadda said.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel also attacked Mr Gandhi, saying that the Congress MP stands for those who denied water to Gujaratis.
“Congress and Rahul Gandhi have time and again shown their animosity towards Gujarat and Gujaratis. By giving Medha Patkar a central place in his Yatra, Rahul Gandhi shows that he stands with those elements who denied water to Gujaratis for decades. Gujarat will not tolerate this,” Mr Patel tweeted.
Elections will be held in Gujarat in two phases on December 1 and 5. The votes will be counted on December 8 along with that of Himachal Pradesh.
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