Kanhaiya, Mevani to join Cong; BJP sings 'tukde tukde'

BJP's 'tukde tukde' echoes as young guns Kanhaiya Kumar, Jignesh Mevani set to join grand old party

Their joining is some good news for Congress, which has seen a spate of desertions of its important leaders including three this month

Hours before former JNU student Union President and CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar and young Dalit leader and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani are to join Congress, BJP on Tuesday revived the 'tukde tukde' attack on the main Opposition party saying "joining hands with 'Breaking India' forces is now Congress’s raison d'être."

"On the anniversary of surgical strike, Congress to admit Kanhaiya Kumar and Jignesh Mevani of “Bharat tere tukde honge” fame. This can’t be a mere coincidence," BJP's IT department head Amit Malviya said as indications emerged that both Kumar and Mevani will be joining the Congress on Tuesday evening in presence of Rahul Gandhi.

Kumar and Mevani will also go to a memorial park in the city to garland the statue of Bhagat Singh, the iconic freedom fighter, whose legacy has been claimed with equal enthusiasm by the Congress, the BJP and the Left. Rahul Gandhi too will be attending the garlanding, followed by a briefing by KC Venugopal, Randeep S Surjewala and Bhakta Charan Das at the AICC HQ.

Their joining is good news for Congress, which has seen a spate of desertions of its important leaders including three this month. While Sushmita Dev, Mahila Congress chief quit Congress and became a Rajya Sabha MP from Trinamool Congress, party veteran and former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro is also set to join  Mamata Banerjee's party after having resigned on Monday.

Jitin Prasada, Congress' young Brahmin face in UP and once a close associate of Rahul Gandhi, became a minister in Yogi Adityanath government on Sunday, three months after he had resigned from Congress in June.

Read more | Cong leaders keen to embrace BJP: Minister

The joining of Kumar and Mevani is expected to strengthen the party's organisation in in Bihar and poll-bound Gujarat. It will also sharpen the party's social outreach nationally as Mevani is prominent young Dalit face, who is joining Congress days after the party gave Punjab its first Dalit Chief Minister in Charanjit Singh Channi.

Mevani, a first-time MLA from the Vadgam Assembly constituency in Banaskantha district of Gujarat, which he had won in 2017 with the backing of Congress, had shot to fame with educational politics after the Dalit flogging case of Una in 2016.

Gujarat is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. In 2017, Congress with the help of Patidar leader Hardik Patel, Dalit leader Mevani and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor had given a tough fight to the BJP, which could win just 99 in the 182-member state Assembly in 2017. Thakor later joined the BJP while Patel became Working President in Congress. Mevani could also be given a key role, keeping in mind the state polls months away.

Also Read | Functioning style of Congress leadership in Kerala triggers criticism

In Bihar's case, Kumar is expected to enthuse some fresh energy in the moribund veins of Congress, which even after piggy-riding Tejashwi Yadav-led RJD, has not been able to emerge as a force. Moreover, Congress has never been easy with RJD as an ally and the party was always divided on this. Youth face Kanhaiya could help the party's independent outreach to people.

Kanhiaya Kumar got into political limelight after being booked in a sedition case when he was JNUSU President, which was alluded by BJP's Malviya in the tweet to attack Congress. BJP had in past targeted Rahul Gandhi for his visit to JNU to express solidarity with the students then.

Kumar, who later contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from CPI against Union Minister Giriraj Singh of BJP from Begusarai was the runner-up, having got 2.68 lakh votes in his maiden Parliamentary election. RJD had declined to back his candidature and fielded its own candidate.

Also Read | Congress an irrelevant, rotting puddle: TMC mouthpiece

These joinings are in sync with recent openness in Congress to the lateral entry of leaders from other streams, who are aggressive and not hesitant to take on the BJP and the RSS like  Nana Patole in Maharashtra and Revanth Reddy in Telangana.

Addressing social media volunteers of the party, Rahul Gandhi had said, "There are many people who are not in Congress, but are very fearless in speaking the truth. Such people should be inducted into the party while those who are in the party but are scared to speak the truth should go away."


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