FORMER JAWAHARLAL Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, Vadgam Independent MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel will share the stage at ‘Samvidan Bachao, Desh Bachao Rally’ (Save Constitution, Save Nation Rally) in Rajkot on Wednesday.
The rally has been organised by Indranil Rajyaguru, a city-based builder and former Congress MLA from Rajkot (east). The rally will start from near the statue of B R Ambedkar at Hospital Chowk in the afternoon and will culminate near Bahumali Bhavan. Patidar quota leader Gopal Italiya and Gujarat Jan Adhikar Manch chief Pravin Ram will also join the rally.
The leaders who have been vocal critics of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre and policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are coming to the common platform in the run-up to the Parliamentary election due in a couple of months. Organisers said that they want the rally to culminate into a public meeting at Bahumali Chowk but police have denied permission for the public meeting as a book fair and literature festival is going on in the adjacent Race Course ground.
Before the rally, the young leaders will address a press conference in the city.
The rally will also be the first major show of strength by Rajyaguru after he quit the Congress around a year ago. Rajyaguru, considered to be the richest politician in the state, had contested the Assembly election against Chief Minister Vijay Rupani from Rajkot (west) constituency in December, 2017, but had lost.
Months after his defeat, Rajyaguru had resigned from the Congress, saying he was not satisfied with the “functioning” of the party. However, he campaigned in favour of Congress candidate in Jasdan Assembly bypoll in December last year. He has been trying to maintain contact with the public by running a campaign called Lokshahima Lokjagrana (public awareness in democracy).
The rally will also be first public event for Mevani after HK Arts College, Ahmedabad, cancelled his event allegedly after threats of disruption by student leaders of right-wing organisations.
Mevani Tuesday tweeted: “Since my event is cancelled in HK Arts college, I am making this announcement – in coming months I will be planning my series of lectures in various colleges and universities across the country on two subject – ‘chokidar hi chor hai’ and ‘Modi, the urban manu’.”