- Jignesh Mevani pledges support
- Rahul Gandhi welcomes both
Former CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar joined the Congress in the presence of former president of the party Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Tuesday. Vadgam (Gujarat) MLA Jignesh Mevani also pledged support to the Congress ideology although he did not formally join for technical reasons. Jignesh is an independent MLA.
Congress spokesman Randeep singh said, at the party headquarters where the joining took place, it is a special occasion. Both Kanhaiya Kumar and Jignesh Mevani have been vocal critics of the Modi government. Kanhaiya Kumar is a symbol of fighting for freedom of expression in the country, AICC General Secretary K. Venugopal described. Kanhaiya Kumar, a student leader from JNU had joined the CPI before 2019 general elections. He contested from Begusarai constituency in Bihar on CPI ticket against BJP’s Girija Singh and lost. JIgnesh is an MLA from Gujarat. Though he did not join the party, he said he would contest in next elections on the Congress party symbol. A Dalit leader, Jignesh would be an important leader for the Congress in Gujarat in assembly elections due in December 2022.
At the press conference, Kanhaiya Kumar paid rich tributes to Shahid Bhagat Singh. “I am joining the congress because some people who are ruling the country are trying to change this country’s thoughts, culture. I have chosen to be in the country’s most democratic party,” he said. Youth have realized that if the Congress is finished it will be very difficult for the country to survive, he added. This is war time and it is not the time to look left or right, Kanhiaya said referring to the CPI with respect.
The country has gone back to the era of pre-1947 where the party has to take forward the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru and Ashfaqulla Khan, Kanhaiya said. “There is no alternative other than the Congress. If a big ship like the Congress is not saved, then small boats will not survive,” Kumar said. Both Kanhaiya Kumar and JIgnesh Mevani were profusely garlanded by the senior Congress leaders who accorded warm welcome to both the young leaders.