Defending his challenger Isudan Gadhvi, the chief ministerial candidate of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress MLA Vikram Madam said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) framed the AAP leader in a false case. The Congress leader also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks over houses being demolished on Bet Dwarka island.
Addressing an election meeting in Khambhalia town of Devbhumi Dwarka Monday, Madam said, “Do listen attentively as I tell you what happens to those who fight against Modi. Isudanbhai…, the son of a Gadhvi, leads a mob of 100 to BJP office and he accused of outraging the modesty of a woman… A Gadhvi’s son may assault some men but can never outrage the modesty of a woman. Had he been booked for vandalising the BJP office, I wouldn’t have taken any offence.”
Claiming that he had stated this on the floor of the Assembly when “BJP friends” reminded him that he was from the rival party, Madam said, “Whichever party they might be from, friends who are dear remain dear… I can’t tolerate someone talking ill of them.”
Police arrested Gadhvi in January this year after a BJP woman worker alleged that he misbehaved and sexually harassed her while leading a mob to BJP headquarters in a drunken state. He was also booked for allegedly consuming liquor.
The AAP has declared Gadhvi, a native of Khambhalia, as its chief ministerial candidate. Madam is the sitting MLA from Khambhalia constituency where Gadhvi is contesting. Madam seeking a re-election on Congress ticket.
Promising his supporters that he will fight the election in “good spirit”, Madam said, “He is my rival. We will fight in good spirit. If people voted for him and made him victorious, we will lift him on our shoulders and congratulate him.”
Launching a scathing attack on Modi over his remarks on October 10 about the demolition drive in Bet Dwarka, the 64-year-old Congress leader said, “The Prime Minister of Hindustan comes to Jamnagar and says that he was pleased with how those houses were demolished… He should be ashamed.”
The Congress leader also questioned the BJP government, asking why did it not stop the government land being encroached on the island in the first place. “If they were being constructed since 2005, what was your government doing… Were you asleep till the election approached,” Madam said, adding, “This atmosphere of hate will finish this country… I am just an MLA. If the house or hut of my harshest critic is demolished and his wife and children are thrown on the road, Vikram Madam… will be weeping.”
The state government had demolished around 100 structures, many of them residential premises, during a drive in October this year on the island located off Okha coast in Devbhumi Dwarka.
Madam also praised sitting BJP MLA from Jamnagar North Dharmedrasinh Jadeja alias Hakubha and NCP MLA from Kutiyana seat in Porbandar, Kandhal Jadeja. He said that some could not tolerate the trio’s friendship after an event in Jamnagar in May this year.
The BJP dropped Dharmendrasinh to nominate cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba from the Jamnagar North seat, while the NCP refused to give the mandate to Kandhal, compelling him to fight on a Samajwadi Party ticket from Kutiyana, a seat he has held since 2012.
Referring to their “friendship”, Madam said, “All saw that video… some couldn’t digest this. They set out to finish the three of us. Therefore, Kandhal Jadeja was denied a ticket by the NCP. The BJP had promised him a ticket but that party also backtracked. You know that happened to the other friend. Now only Vikram Madam is left,” said Madam.
The Congress leader also claimed that Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM fielding a candidate from Khambhalia was part of the conspiracy to finish him politically. “Owaisi is coming here and fielding a candidate against me. Are they really eying a victory? It is to finish Vikram Madam,” he said.
Claiming that he had the support and love of people of Khambhalia, Madam also claimed that a lot of people had aligned against him. “You will get to know if you note how many crorepatis… had come during filing nomination papers,” said Madam in an apparent reference to Parimal Nathwani, director of corporate affairs of Reliance Industries Limited and a Rajya Sabha MP, accompanying BJP candidate Mulu Bera in filing nomination papers.