Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, under fire over the violence against Hindi-speaking migrants in Gujarat, said on Thursday that party president Rahul Gandhi had advised him to practise the politics that united the country.
The MLA from Radhanpur in Patan district sat on a day-long 'goodwill fast' near his house Ahmedabad on Thursday to promote 'peace and harmony'.
"At this point, I remember Rahul Gandhi's words. He told me Alpesh, we should do the politics which unites the country," Thakor said, addressing the people at the venue of his fast.
"Alpesh, we have to make people understand the language of love," he further quoted the Congress president as saying.
Thakor, however, did not make it clear as to when did Gandhi give him the advice.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have demanded that the Congress should take action against Thakor, blaming him for the incidents of violence against migrants and their resultant exodus from Gujarat.
Since the rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on September 28 and the arrest of a labourer from Bihar for the crime, six districts in Gujarat have reported incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking migrant workers.
At least 60,000 people, mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, are estimated to have fled Gujarat in the last two weeks.
Rupani had asked on Tuesday whether Rahul Gandhi would take action against the members of his party 'who incited violence'.
Thakor has denied that he or his organisation instigated the attacks on the migrants.
The police have named members of his organisation in some of the first information reports related to the attacks.
A video, where Thakor is purportedly seen berating the migrants following the rape incident, had also gone viral earlier. -- PTI