Gandhinagar, April 4 (IANS) Newly-appointed Gujarat Congress in-charge Rajeev Satav’s year-old tweet supporting Narmada project detractor Medha Patkar has given the opponents a stick to beat the party with.
Although soon after his appointment, Satav deleted the old tweet from his account, this has given a chance to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to hit out at the Congress.
Adding fuel to the fire by supporting his leader’s stance on the Patkar-Narmada issue, Paresh Dhanani, the Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, provided the BJP with a fresh opportunity to slam the grand old party for being “anti-Gujarat”.
A Lok Sabha member from Maharashtra, Satav was appointed the Gujarat in-charge on March 30, replacing Ashok Gehlot. Satav is believed to be a close confidante of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
On August 5, 2017, Satav had tweeted and also written a letter is support of Patkar who was on an indefinite fast against the Madhya Pradesh government, seeking proper implementation of settlement package for the displaced persons, affected by raising of the Narmada dam height.
“I am aware of the fact that Narmada dam project violates basic human rights under the garb of development. I extend my full support to your movement,” Satav wrote in the letter, apart from the tweet he deleted just before coming to Gujarat as the Congress party in-charge.
Since 1980s, Patkar has consistently opposed construction of Narmada dam and launched a series of agitations against the project. She is seen by many in state as an anti-Gujarat person, and politicians in the state across all political parties have to date blamed her for the delay in Narmada project implementation.
Backing his leader’s stance towards Medha, Dhanani stated that had not Medha agitated and pressurised the Madhya Pradesh government to complete resettlement of the displaced people, the project would not have been completed.
“I am thankful to Rajeev Satav for supporting Medha’s agitation for resettlement of those affected by the project,” he said.
This saw Chief Minister Vijay Rupani hit out at the Congress.
“Congress party has always been anti-Gujarat. Through this issue, it stands exposed on its anti-Gujarat attitude. It is sad. Now, by openly coming out in support of Medha’s agitations that were anti-Gujarat, Congress is showing that it also did not want Narmada project to be implemented,” he said.
BJP state president Jitu Vaghani went to the extent of starting a “People’s movement” against Congress if it did not come clean on its stance.