‘If I join…’: Jignesh Mevani cites this reason for not joining Congress
- In the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections, Mevani had contested from Vadagam seat of Banaskantha district as an independent candidate but had received outside support from Congress.
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday said he couldn’t join Congress due to “technical reasons” but will fight the upcoming Assembly polls on the party symbol. Mevani was in Delhi along with the former Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Kanhaiya Kumar, with the latter joining Congress in the presence of former party president Rahul Gandhi.
Addressing a media briefing, Mevani said that he might not have continued as an independent MLA, had he joined the party. The convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch was referring to the anti-defection law under which an independent lawmaker becomes disqualified if the person joins a political party after the election. Mevani, however, stressed that he is ideologically aligned with Congress.
“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,” the Gujarat lawmaker from Vadgam constituency said.
“To save democracy and the idea of India, I have to be with a party that lead the Independence struggle and dragged the British out of the country. This is why I am here with the Congress today,” he added.
In the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections, Mevani had contested from Vadagam seat of Banaskantha district as an independent candidate had but received outside support from Congress. Then sitting Congress MLA Manibhai Vaghela said that the party's state unit had asked him to contest from the seat, reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC), “as a part of an agreement” with Mevani.
Kanhaiya Kumar told the press conference that Congress is like a “big ship” that can protect the aspirations of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and BR Ambedkar.
“Congress party is like a big ship. If it's saved, I believe many people's aspirations, Mahatma Gandhi's oneness, Bhagat Singh's courage & BR Ambedkar's idea of equality will be protected too. This is why I have joined it,” the former JNU student union president said.