Fact Check

Fuelling sentiments before elections: Rahul Gandhi’s lie on violence in Gujarat Fact-checked

Gujarat Violence

According to reports, a minor girl from a local community of Gujarat was raped allegedly by a migrant worker from Bihar. This led to a mass violence against migrant population across almost six districts of Gujarat. Consequently, an exodus of migrant workers has been reported.

On this issue, Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted the following:

His tweet suggests the following.

  1. There is no bigger violence than poverty. The current violence in Gujarat is due to the closed factories and unemployment.
  2. Order and economy are collapsing in the state of Gujarat.
  3. Targeting migrant workers for this is completely wrong.
  4. He completely stands against this (targeting).

However, the truth of the incident is contrary to what the Congress President would have one believe.

Here is a fact check:

The violence that started in the background of the rape of the girl has reportedly been found to be stoked by the Thakor Sena, an affiliate organisation of Congress party and by its chief Alpesh Thakor who happens to be an MLA from Congress. Below is the excerpt from the Indian Express in which Alpesh Thakor himself has admitted that members of Thakor Sena could be involved in the violence.

Further, a report on the involvement of the Thakor Sena in the matter reads the following:

“The Thakor Sena has said that migrant workers from other states should not be given jobs in Gujarat. A mob of 200 people allegedly led by Sena members entered a factory on October 2 and beat up two employees. Subsequently, 20 people were arrested.”

If that is not enough, Alpesh Thakor had also made a provocative speech fuelling Gujarati vs. Non-Gujarati sentiment only a few days before the exodus began.

In the full video accessed by Republic TV, Alpesh Thakor is seen making a divisive speech. In fact, a local man MV Thakor, who also happens to be a taluka member representing the Congress party was reportedly confirmed by the Gujarat police as the man in a video threatening migrant workers to leave the state.

This violence looks to have a nefarious design. As per reports, Congress is planning to hold protests across the state of Uttar Pradesh against the incidents of violence in Gujarat. In this regard, a meeting on the instruction of U.P. Congress Chief Raj Babbar was organised.

So, on one hand, Congress is launching violence against the people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in Gujarat and on the other, it is trying to hold a protest against such violence in Uttar Pradesh.

Conclusion

There has recently been a pattern in the country that as soon as an election approaches, attempts are made to divide people along caste lines and unleash violence in some parts of the country to tactically make it an election issue. Una Violence few months before the Gujarat election, Bhim Sena violence around the U.P. election and Lingayat division tactic being used before the Karnataka election are some of the recent examples.

Now, as the election dates have been announced in five assembly states of which three states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are being seen as key to national elections in 2019, such deliberate acts of violence against one community are again coming up. The Congress’s direct link in fuelling the violence in Gujarat is too stark to ignore.

The Congress President, however, is misleading people through his tweet, when it is his own party MLA who has owned up to his organisation’s involvement in stoking violence against the migrants. He is, in fact, using the opportunity to score political points and put the onus on BJP led Gujarat government.

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