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Gujarat BJP rulers using state assembly for political ends: Former BJP chief minister

By Our Representative
Former BJP chief minister Suresh Mehta has accused the Gujarat government of "misusing" the state assembly for political ends. Referring to the decision to call one-day state assembly session on January 10, he told media in Ahmedabad that it has been called "without any agenda", adding, "MLAs have been kept in the dark about why the session has been summoned, yet the governor has issued notification for it."
Pointing out that the actual reason behind calling the state assembly session apparently is to pass a resolution in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), though officially nobody in the government is uttering a word on it, Mehta said, "Any resolution by the state government supporting CAA runs counters to the stated position of the Government of India -- that CAA is a Central Act, and states have no say in the matter."
Mehta, who was also state parliamentary affairs and law minister under a previous BJP dispensations in Gujarat, said, "No assembly session can be called without declaring official and unofficial agenda to be taken up in the House. It is a violation of the MLAs' rights. It is very unfortunate that the assembly speaker is not uttering a word on this and accepting the government's ways."
Resigned from BJP in late 2000s after differences with Narendra Modi, who was Gujarat chief minister, Mehta, now his mid-80s, has not joined any political party, though has been part of non-political campaigns against the BJP rule. Those who addressed media along with him were a former Cabinet minister, Pravinsinh Jadeja, and representatives of Aam Aadmi Party and Nationalist Congress Party under the banner of Rashtriya Manch.
Mehta said, the purpose of coming up with CAA resolution was to divide Gujarat on communal lines for political ends. "There was no need to come up with CAA. Who stopped BJP rulers to give citizenship to anyone they liked from a foreign land? The 1955 Act is empowers the Central government", he asserted, quoting from the original 1955 Act as well as CAA.
Yashwant Sinha
"The state assembly needs to discuss several major issues, including tabling of a Public Accounts Committee report on political corruption in Gujarat. The report has been unanimously passed by BJP and Congress MLAs. However, the state government appears to be in no mood to make it public", Mehta said.
Interestingly, Modi, on becoming chief minister in October 2001 had compared Mehta with Lord Krishna, stating, "During Kurukshetra war, Arjun had one charioteer (sarathi), I have two." He was referring to two ex-BJP chief ministers -- Suresh Mehta Keshubhai Patel. Modi replaced Patel after rebellion broke out against the latter in 2001.
Jadeja announced veteran rebel BJP leader Yashwant Sinha's anti-CAA yatra's Gujarat programme, saying, it would start in Mumbai on January 9, crossing Gujarat on January 11. It would pass through major Gujarat cities, including Surat, Vadodara, Porbandar, Rajkot, Surendranagar, reaching Ahmedabad on January 18, before proceeding to Udaipur. The yatra would reach Delhi on January 30, the day Gandhiji was martyred.
Jadeja said, leaders from different political parties from across the country would greet or participate in the yatra. When asked whether well-known tribal leader Chhotubhai Vasava and Dalit rights leader Jignesh Mevani, independent MLA, had been approached, he said, "Vasava would greet the yatra in South Gujarat. As for Mevani, he is being contacted".

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