Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has slammed the BJP for terming PAAS leader Hardik Patel, OBC leader Alpesh Thakore and SC/ST leader Jignesh Mevani as ‘HAJ’, and accused the saffron party of playing the “communal card” and “divisive politics”.
“Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani are sons of the soil in Gujarat. To call them ‘HAJ’ is playing the communal card and divisive politics,” Chidambaram said in report by IANS.
“Patel, Thakore and Mevani are articulating the demands of Gujarati youth for jobs and development. Their campaign should not be trivialised,” he said.
Chidambaram’s remarks came after a poster was released on the social media showing upcoming Gujarat elections as a face-off between ‘HAJ’ and ‘RAM’, which stands for (Gujarat chief minister Vijay) Rupani, BJP chief Amit (Shah) and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi.
Both terms are acronyms coined by the political parties.
Patel, Thakore and Mevani have joined hands with the Congress to uproot the Bharatiya Janata Party from the state, which has been in power for 22 years.
Two-phase Assembly elections for the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly are due on 9 December and 14 December. The counting of votes will take place on 18 December.