Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Kanhaiya Kumar and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani will join the Congress party in Rahul Gandhi’s presence on September 28.
Kumar, 34, is a former president of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student’s union president while Mevani, 38, is an independent MLA from Vadgam constituency in Gujarat and influential Dalit leader.
Both the leaders will join the Congress party at its Delhi headquarters at 3 pm, according to reports.
Congress general secretary (organization) KC Venugopal and Gujarat Congress working president Hardik Patel are also likely to be present when Kumar and Mevani join the Congress, according to an ANI report.
Before the formal joining, the two activist-turned politicians will go to Shaheedi Park at ITO in Delhi at 2:30 pm to garland the statue of Bhagat Singh, to mark the 114th birth anniversary of the freedom fighter. The two leaders will also address the media after the joining.
The entry of the two fiery speakers, from Gujarat and Bihar, will certainly be good optics for the Congress, given that many young leaders such as Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada and Sushmita Dev have quit the party in the past couple of years.
The Congress is likely to give Kumar a role in Bihar state Congress and Mevani in Gujarat, which will go for polls by the end of 2022.
Mevani rose to national prominence during the 2016 protests following the flogging incident in which seven Dalit youths were tortured in Una, Gujarat, by members of a cow protection group. Kumar shot to prominence as a firebrand JNU student union president with his speeches against the Narendra Modi-led BJP government in 2015-16.
Mevani won the Vadgam (reserved) assembly constituency in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat in 2017 with the backing of Congress while Kumar contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Begusarai on a CPI ticket but lost to the BJP’s Giriraj Singh.
“We welcome all the revolutionary youths who are willing to work for the development of the country and strengthen the Congress party and the ideals of (Mahatma) Gandhi, Sardar (Patel) and (Jawaharlal) Nehru,” said Hardik Patel, who is also expected to be present at the function in Delhi.Patel described Mevani as “an old friend” and said his entry would help the party, both at the state and at the national level, according to a PTI report.