Jignesh Mevani’s entry into Congress will open party doors in Gujarat
Double-digit seat counts were unprecedented since the BJP came to power alone in Gujarat in 1995 and Congress made inroads in several regions.
The agitations of three young Turks, Jignesh Mevani, Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakore for the Dalits, Patidars and OBC brought enormous results. It was also unprecedented that a Patidar, a Dalit and an OBC speak with one voice in Gujarat.
Congress had left its own secure seat, Vadgam, to support Jignesh Mevani as an independent candidate and it won. So, inducting Mevani into the party at this point – in the fall of the Punjab – seems like Congress’ new strategy for reaching out to the Dalits with an aggressive and well-read young leader.
Dalits make up only 7% of Gujarat’s population, but there are 13 seats reserved for listed castes. For a tired Congress party in the state, Jignesh Mevani’s entry would surely help create new energy at least among Dalits – and with Kanhaiya Kumar – in all sections of marginalized communities besides Muslims.
The development also comes against the backdrop of speculation about political strategist Prashant Kishor’s entry into the Congress scheme of things. The immediate evidence came during a closed-door meeting of congressmen to plan for the next two-day monsoon of the state assembly to be held on September 27-28.
A section of congressional deputies said at the meeting that Prashant Kishor should be given the reign of Congress to rejuvenate Gujarat. This opinion came as they were discussing a need for a change in state leadership and the high command simply ignoring Gujarat units, failing to take action.
State Congress President Amit Chawda and Opposition Leader Paresh Dhanani had resigned twice earlier, after the 2019 Lok Sabha and the recent local elections, with no decision being made. was taken.
It was then as speculation continued to circulate that a new leadership of the state was about to arrive. No leader in either Delhi or Gujarat has confirmed or denied this. And unfortunately for the party, the head of Gujarat Rajeev Satav died in between all that. But now sources claim that several changes, including obtaining Prashant Kishor, are in sight.
For Jignesh Mevani, this is a win-win situation as it is difficult to win as an independent candidate for a second consecutive term. It is only logical that he joins a party, where he is a natural ally.
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Posted on: Saturday, September 25, 2021, 10:35 p.m. IST