Gujarat deputy chief minister, Nitin Patel, has reportedly banned mobile phones for visitors wishing to meet him in his office after a farmer ‘secretly’ recorded him dissing Patidar leader, Hardik Patel, and the face of Dalit movement in Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani.
Patel was allegedly ‘stung’ during his meeting the state’s farmers, who had come to share their grievances at the secretariat. While he was busy speaking to the farmers, one person secretly recorded film his informal conversation.
In the video (see below), Patel is heard blaming Hardik and Mevani for misleading their respective communities for political gains. He also goes on to address Mevabi as harijan and warn them that they will be given befitting reply after assembly polls through a BJP’s win in the assembly polls.
Soon after the video went viral in Gujarat, Patel’s office ordered a ban on visitors’ carrying mobile phone into his office.
A journalist, who had gone to meet him on Monday told Janta Ka Reporter, “We were asked to hand over our mobile phones to security personnel stationed outside his office. This had never happened before. Although what he said in the viral video was pretty harmless, but we were told that the deputy chief minister simply did not want to take any chance when elections are around the corner.”
The BJP is looking visibly nervous for the first time ahead of assembly polls. The party president, Amit Shah, on Sunday had desperately asked the voters to be careful about the alleged misinformation being spread on social media.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is kicking off an ambitious Narmada campaign on 17 September highlighting its benefits to the farmers in the state.
(The earlier version of our story had wrongly said ‘Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’ had banned the mobile phones. We regret this oversight)