Updated: October 7, 2021 11:59:46 am
Claiming that his presence will further motivate the marginalised sections in Gujarat to vote for the Congress party, Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani said that in the 2022 Vidhan Sabha elections, the party will oust the government that “believes in Manusmriti and not the Constitution”.
Mevani who arrived in Ahmedabad after joining the party in Delhi, said, “The Congress party had led the independence struggle from where the idea of India with values of unity in diversity, secularism, equality and socialism emerged. It is only the Congress party that can save our Constitution and democracy… with this clarity of thought I have joined the party.”
The independent MLA from Vadgam constituency in Banaskantha joined the Congress recently along with former JNU leader Kanhaiya Kumar in the presence of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Pointing out that the margin of seats between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress in the previous Assembly elections was 10-15, seats 41-year-old Mevani said, “I am hopeful that if all senior leaders, Congress workers and people across the spectrum who are aligned with our ideology… put their effort together, we can remove this government that believes in the Manusmriti and not in the Constitution.”
The leader who arrived to a rousing welcome from supporters of his constituency Vadgam and workers of Gujarat Congress, Indian Youth Congress, Mahila Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI) at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan in Paldi of Ahmedabad, said, “The BJP ruled for 27 years in Gujarat, however, the common man did not see any development. Hundreds of small and middle scale industries have shut, youth are unemployed… At least 15% of Gujarat’s population is poor marginalised OBCs on the edge… what have they got in the Vibrant Gujarat model? I have joined the Congress to represent them.”
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Amit Chavda, GPCC working president Hardik Patel, Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani and former GPCC president Bharat Solanki were present at the event to felicitate Mevani.
To join the Congress technically, Mevani has to resign as MLA. “I have stated earlier as well that officially I have not taken Congress membership yet as I will have to resign first as MLA. I will do it in the coming months,” said Mevani.
When asked about his role in the Congress party, Mevani said that initially he will focus on enrolment drive for the party.
“I will raise the issues of inflation and unemployment to mobilise people. I will travel to districts and talukas of Gujarat to enroll people in the party.With my presence, youth will be motivated to join the Congress. There is a lot of excitement at the Congress office today, same was the case when we held a press conference in the Congress office in New Delhi as well,” said Mevani.
Mevani who raised the issues of manual scavenging and deaths of sanitation workers in industries earlier came into limelight after he led an agitation against the alleged flogging of Dalits in Una of Gir Somnath in 2016.
When asked what difference would he bring to the lives of sanitation workers if chosen to power, Mevani said, “Within the framework of the party, there is a huge scope to work for the marginalised communities and be vocal about their issues… I will continue to do so. We are exploring technology to get rid of manual scavenging by replacing humans with machines.”
When asked if he believes that the BJP is targeting AAP more as a principal opposition in Gujarat politics than Congress, Mevani said, “Let them do their job, we will do ours.”
When asked about the internal fissures of Congress in Punjab and dissent by G 23 — the group of 23 senior leaders who wrote to Sonia Gandhi demanding internal reforms in party, Mevani said, “If a party has been there for 130 years, it is obvious that people will be coming and going… what is important is to focus on the ones coming, welcome them without offending those who are leaving.”
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