New Delhi: Former Communist Party of India (CPI) leader and ex-JNU student president, Kanhaiya Kumar joined the Congress party in the presence of Rahul Gandhi at the party’s headquarters in the national capital, on Tuesday.
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani also extended his support to the Congress ideology but did not join the party formally.
An upbeat Congress said Kanhaiya Kumar is a symbol of fighting for freedom of expression in the country. “His joining the Congress will enthuse our workers,” said senior leader and party general secretary KC Venugopal.
“I am joining the Congress because I strongly feel that if the country has to be saved, the Congress will have to survive,” Kanhaiya said.
“Congress party is like a large ship. If it survives, all other smaller parties will also survive,” Kanhaiya said.
With Kanhaiya Kumar on board, the Congress would hope to improve its performance in Bihar, where it has been a marginal player for quite some time now.
Kanhaiya, who gained prominence as the president of JNU students’ union, had joined the CPI ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls against BJP’s Giriraj Singh from Begusarai in Bihar.
Jignesh Mevani joins Congress ideology
Another young leader to come on the Congress platform today was independent Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani
“I am joining the Congress ideology today. I haven’t formally joined the party due to technical issues as I am an independent MLA,” Mevani said.
Jignesh Mevani said the country is passing through an unprecedented crisis under the present BJP government. “An atmosphere of hatred is being spread across the country,” Mevani said.
“Today, I am part of the Congress ideologically, because it is an ideology that can save the country,” he said.
“I will fight the upcoming Gujarat polls from Congress symbol,” Mewani added.
Venugopal praised Jignesh Mevani for carrying out a spirited campaign against the BJP and its policies in the Gujarat.
Mevani is likely to play a key role for the Congress in Gujarat in the assembly elections scheduled next year.
Mevani is the convener of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM). In the 2017 Gujarat assembly election, the Congress did not field its candidate against Mevani in the Vadgam constituency.
His association with the Congress comes at a time when it is wooing the scheduled castes community after handpicking the first dalit chief minister of Punjab, Charanjit Singh Channi.
The coming of these two young leaders on the Congress platform comes amid a spate of resignations from the party in the recent months.
While former Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev left the party to join the Trinamool Congres, former Union minister Jitin Prasada is now in the BJP and a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government.
Veteran Goa Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro resigned from the party on Monday and is likely to join the Trinamool Congress.