Why are they using my name? Medha Patkar responds to PM’s criticism

Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Ms Medha Patkar Monday called out Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders for dragging her name during their campaign speeches for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections. Senior BJP leaders including Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, have been criticising Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for marching with Patkar on his Bharat Jodo Yatra.

“There is a conspiracy to mislead not only the voters, but the entire country. All this is going on in the name of development. Therefore, it is necessary to convey the truth to the people for a non-violent satyagraha struggle for the displaced and the deprived, exploited and victims of the country,” said Ms Patkar

‘’It is necessary to give an answer to the false propaganda that is being spread about the Narmada rescue movement. We are not in party politics. I am not a member of any party. There has been a lack of value in electoral politics at present. Wrong things are being used for the ballot box, including some media. We know all those facts,’’ she said.

‘’Why is the Narmada issue so big today? Why are all ministers in the Modi government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, so scared? Are they losing sleep over Sardar Sarovar work and our work? Prime Minister Modi, BJP President J P Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah, Rupala, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel are appealing to the people in our name saying, don’t vote for Congress or us,’’ said Ms Patkar.

Ms Patkar claimed that the promises made to people of Gujarat on the Narmada project turned out to be false.

‘’The only reason why they are entangling us in their infighting is that the promises made by the government to the people of Gujarat in the name of the Narmada project have turned out to be false. So they fear that people will not vote for BJP. In such a situation, they have all the money and power to get votes by twisting their fingers. Still they are making statements after statements on the Narmada project,’’ she said.

Ms Patkar alleged that the water reaching Kutch was used by Adani’s four ports and also by Jindal, Special Economic Zone, Adani’s edible oil company Fortune, some industries and some cities. However, this water did not reach the farmers.

“Recently, when the Gujarat Assembly elections were announced, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) that stretched from the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam in Narmada district 750 kilometres away, to the last of the villages of Gujarat’s Mandvi taluka, Mod Kuba. People thought that now water will reach the fields. However, it broke within 24 hours,”she said.

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