Former JNU students union leader Kanhaiya Kumar and independent Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani will join the Congress – likely during an event on October 2 – party sources said today. They were scheduled to join on September 28 – on the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh.
Mr Mevani – a Dalit leader who represents Gujarat’s Vadgam constituency – could be made a Working President of the party’s state unit, sources added. Whatever his final role, Mr Mevani’s joining is further evidence of the Congress’ calculated approach ahead of polls next year, including Punjab, where Dalits are nearly a third of the population.
Mr Kumar – earlier President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s students’ union and now with the CPI – is expected to bring a few other Left leaders with him when he jumps to the Congress.
News of Mr Mevani and Mr Kumar’s expected joining underscores the Congress’s push to recruit young and dynamic faces ahead of state elections in 2022 and the 2024 Lok Sabha election.