Well, what do you know?! In response to my post on the BJP’s wonky strategery, I get three different emails, in the space of under an hour, all essentially asking the same thing: Am I reading too much into one case being withdrawn and one warrant in another case being issued, both involving Hardik Patel?
Like I said at the outset, when I restarted my blog, I prefer to keep all discussions here, and not one-on-one in email — I’m fine voicing my opinions in public, no reason you need to be wary about voicing your questions to me. So. In response to the above question — I am, am I? Reading too much?
Headline #1: Govt to withdraw 90% cases against agitating Patidars
Headline #2: Eye on elections, Gujarat govt to drop most cases against Patidars
Where’s the catch? Headline #1 is dated August 1, 2016. Headline #2 is dated October 13, 2017
That is what I meant when I said the BJP uses, and withdraws, cases not because of its vaunted law and order credentials, but because of political expediency.
The case in which a non-bailable warrant has been issued against Hardik Patel relates to damage to property and related sections. In response to my comment, I got this on Twitter:
Yeah, some think. And remember. Like, so (Dated October 18, 2017):
Continuing its populist announcements, Gujarat government on Wednesday declared to withdraw criminal cases registered under the provisions of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and other relevant penal sections against 22 farmers of Sanand region in Ahmedabad district. Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja made the announcement in an official release.
While on which, you really can’t fool all the people all the time. As witness:
The announcement came barely a week after the Bharatiya Janata Party government promised to withdraw all “non-serious cases” filed against members of the Patidar community after their protest rally in August 2015 had led to rioting and violence across the state. The land-owning Patidar or Patel community, which accounts for 14% of Gujarat’s population, is fighting for reservation in jobs and education under the Other Backward Classes category.
However, neither the Sanand farmers nor the Patidar leaders are moved by the BJP’s attempts to placate them. Dismissing the announcements as pre-poll bait, they claimed the government had yet to address their main problems and demands.
Shailesh Thakkar, one of the 22 farmers from Upardal village in Sanand, doubts the government will keep its word. “We have been seeing in the media that the government has claimed it will withdraw the cases against us,” he said. “But will they actually withdraw the cases? I doubt it.” Thakkar spent 16 days in jail before he was released on bail in March.
If you still think the latest action against Hardik Patel has to do with law and order, can I interest you in a big bridge?