Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Tuesday joined the Congress in the presence of Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi while Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani said he is ideologically with the party as he couldn’t join due to technical reasons.
“We look forward to working with these young leaders, Kumar & Mevani, to defeat the fascist forces ruling this country,” said Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal.
“Kanhaiya Kumar is a symbol of the fight for freedom of expression in this country. He fought against fundamentalism as a student leader. The joining of kind of dynamic personality will fill the entire cadre of Congress with enthusiasm,” Venugopal said.
“I am joining Congress because it’s not just a party, it’s an idea. It’s the country’s oldest and most democratic party, and I am emphasising on ‘democratic’… not just me, many think that country can’t survive without Congress…” Kanhaiya Kumar said after joining Congress.
“Congress party is like a big ship, if it’s saved, I believe many people’s aspirations, Mahatma Gandhi’s oneness, Bhagat Singh’s courage and BR Ambedkar’s idea of equality will be protected too. This is why I have joined it…” Kanhaiya Kumar said.
“I am joining Congress because I feel that an ideology is trying to ruin the values, culture, history, & future of this country… crores of youngsters feel that this country can’t be saved without saving Congress,” Kanhaiya Kumar said in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani who contested as an independent MLA also attended the presser and said, “I could not join the Congress formally due to technical reasons. I am an independent MLA, if I join a party, I may not continue as an MLA… I am part of the Congress ideologically, will fight the upcoming Gujarat polls from Congress symbol.”
Former JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya 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.