My arrest pre-planned conspiracy designed by PMO, act of cowardice: Mevani

New Delhi: Gujarat legislator Jignesh Mevani on Monday alleged that his arrest by the Assam Police is a pre-planned conspiracy “designed” by the Prime Minister’s Office to destroy him ahead of assembly elections in the state and termed it an act of “56-inch cowardice”.

Mevani also announced that he would take to the streets and ensure a Gujarat Bandh on June 1 on a raft of issues — seeking action against those behind the leak of 22 exam papers, the recent recovery of “Rs 1.75 lakh-crore” worth of drugs from the Mundra Port, and to press for the withdrawal of all cases against Dalits in Una and against minorities in the state.

“My arrest is an act of 56-inch cowardice and it has undermined Gujarat’s pride,” Mevani said at a press conference in an apparent swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 56-inch chest assertion.

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“My arrest by the Assam Police was a pre-planned conspiracy. It was in blatant disregard to protocol and rules for an MLA,” added the Independent MLA from Vadgam who has pledged his support to the Congress.

Mevani was picked up by the Assam Police from Gujarat on April 19 and taken to the northeastern state after a purported tweet that Modi “considered Godse as God”.

After being released on bail in the case, the Dalit leader was rearrested on charges of assaulting a policewoman. A court in Barpeta granted him bail in the case and urged the Gauhati High Court to consider directing the Assam Police to reform itself to ‘prevent registration of false FIR like the present case…”

Mevani said he had only tweeted asking the prime minister to give a call for peace and harmony in Gujarat, a state he considers “Mahatma’s temple”.

“Does this mean you do not want to appeal for peace and harmony…I challenge BJP leaders to say Godse murdabad from Red Fort, if they are not Godse-bhakts,” he said.

“It is my charge that this is a conspiracy designed by the Prime Minister’s Office. Gujarat elections are due soon and this is being done to destroy me. I fear there is every chance that by now they may have planted something on my computer which has been seized by them,” he added at the Congress headquarters here.

Mevani also asked what the interest of the BJP or the prime minister could be in arresting him over a mere tweet as if he were a terrorist.

“Such things are very dangerous for our democracy.”

He alleged that the woman police officer was put under “pressure” to complain against him, but he will not go against her ” ut of generosity”. The attempt to harass him had failed, Mevani declared.

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