New Delhi: Just days after announcing that he was going to fight as an independent candidate in the upcoming Gujarat elections, Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani has got a shot in the arm with his new way of crowdfunding his campaign.
Mevani started a crowdfunding campaign on the website crowdnewsing around 10 days ago and has so far raised Rs 9,00,000. While many have made contributions starting from Rs 100, author and activist Arundhati Roy has added Rs 3,00,000 in Mevani’s kitty.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mevani thanked Roy for “her contribution to the movement”.
On Twitter, Mevani urged people to contribute to his campaign, which he said was going to work for caste inclusion and against caste discrimination. “We have even received Rs 100 from a young boy. The money raised will help in building dreams, fuel social media campaigns and help in printing pamphlets to take our campaign forward. This money will help us align with parties that are working for the greater good of the society,” said Mevani.
Mevani had, on Monday, announced his decision to contest Gujarat polls from the Vadagam seat of Banaskantha district as an Independent candidate.
The Congress, which had earlier offered a ticket to Mevani, decided not to put up a candidate against him, shifting the sitting MLA, Manibhai Vaghela, to the Idar seat.
In a message posted on social media, Mevani, the face of the Dalit agitation in Gujarat, claimed that he decided to jump into the poll battle after being "persuaded" by youth and numerous agitators. He even requested other opposition parties as well as aspiring independents not to file their papers.
"Since the ruling BJP is our key enemy, I request aspiring candidates of other parties and independents not to file their papers. We wish a direct battle with the BJP. This is people's battle against dictatorship and we will continue our fight after winning this election," he said.
Mevani will be in a direct contest with BJP's Vijay Chakravarthi.