Kanhaiya, Jignesh join Congress in presence of Rahul Gandhi


Kumar had joined the Communist Party of India (CPI) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election and had unsuccessfully contested from Begusarai in Bihar against Giriraj Singh of the BJP.

Kanhaiya Kumar and Jignesh Mevani with Rahul Gandhi.

New Delhi: Former JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani have joined Congress on Tuesday in the presence of Rahul Gandhi, party sources said.

Kumar had joined the Communist Party of India (CPI) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election and had unsuccessfully contested from Begusarai in Bihar against Giriraj Singh of the BJP.

Mevani, who is currently a legislator in Gujarat and represents the Vadgam constituency, is the convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM).

He is a lawyer-activist and a former journalist. Mevani's entry into 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 succeeded Amarinder Singh as chief minister of Punjab, seen as a bold step by the party for wooing back the scheduled castes, traditionally considered the vote bank of the Congress.

However, the party suffered a fresh setback in the Punjab on Tuesday when state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned.

The resignation of youth leaders had caused some disquiet in the party and sections of the party feel that the induction of Kumar and Mevani will help send a positive message to the party rank and file.

Kumar is a member of CPI national executive, a top decision-making body of the party. Mevani is an independent MLA from Vadgam constituency in Gujarat and convener of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM). In the 2017 Gujarat Assembly election, the Congress party did not field its candidate against Mevani in the Vadgam constituency. (ANI)

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