Kanhaiya Kumar joins Congress, Jignesh Mevani extends support to party

Kanhaiya Kumar joins Congress, Jignesh Mevani extends support to party

India News

Former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar joined the Congress party in the presence of Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday.

Gujarat Dalit leader and Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani also extended his support to the party. He said that he was unable to join the party formally due to a “technical reason”.

“I could not join the Congress formally due to technical reasons. I am an independent MLA, if I join a party, I may not continue as an MLA… I am part of the Congress ideologically, will fight the upcoming Gujarat polls from Congress symbol,” Mewani was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Earlier in the day, the duo met former party president Rahul Gandhi.

“I am joining Congress because it is not just a party, it is an idea. It’s the country’s oldest and most democratic party, and I am emphasising on ‘democratic’…Not just me many think that country can’t survive without Congress…” Kumar was quoted as saying by ANI after joining Congress.

Kanhaiya, 34, is the firebrand former JNU student union president who caught national attention with speeches against the Narendra Modi government, and then went on to unsuccessfully try his hand at electoral politics as a CPI candidate.

Kanhaiya Kumar with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (Source: INC)

Whereas, Mevani, a Dalit leader, first emerged along with Hardik and Alpesh Thakore as the youth face challenging the BJP dominance in Gujarat during the 2017 Assembly elections. The 41-year-old, who had won from the reserved Vadgam Assembly seat in north Gujarat in 2017, in a brief statement had said: “On September 28, I will be joining the Indian National Congress along with Kanhaiya Kumar. I have nothing more to say till then.”

Sources close to Kanhaiya Kumar earlier said that he was feeling suffocated in the CPI. He had also met Rahul Gandhi earlier this month.

Sources in the Congress said the party believes that the entry of Kanhaiya Kumar and Mevani will give it a boost, at least optics wise, since one of the narratives regarding the party in the past two years has been of young leaders – among them Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sushmita Dev, Jitin Prasada, and Priyanka Chaturvedi – leaving the party.

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