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I'm a Political Animal, But Will Neither Join Congress Nor Fight Gujarat Polls: Dalit Leader Jignesh Mevani

Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, however, remains open to meeting Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to press for demands of the community.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:November 3, 2017, 10:39 AM IST
I'm a Political Animal, But Will Neither Join Congress Nor Fight  Gujarat Polls: Dalit Leader Jignesh Mevani
File photo of Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani.
Ahmedabad: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani has ended speculation over his entry into the Congress, saying he would not be joining “any political party” but remains open to meeting Rahul Gandhi to discuss demands of the community.

"I am clarifying once and for all. I will not join any political party. But I am a political animal and hence it is natural that I meet several political leaders. Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has invited me to join the Congress. I don't mind meeting Rahul Gandhi, but Congress should address our demands," Mevani told reporters in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Mevani also ruled out contesting the upcoming Assembly election in Gujarat. “As of now, no. Let’s see how the Congress responds to our list of demands. For the community, I am open to meeting Rahul Gandhi,” he said. Mevani and his associates have handed over a list of 17 demands to the Congress.

The young leader expressed disappointed over the BJP-led Gujarat government holding talks with leaders of the Patidar community, but not Dalits. "This is political untouchability. Anti-Dalit mindset of this government is evident. It is not concerned about issues we are facing," Mevani said.

Apart from Mevani, the Congress had offered election tickets to two other young leaders from Gujarat — Patidar leader Hardik Patel and OBC leader Alpesh Thakore. The latter has already joined the Congress.

The 182-seat Gujarat Assembly will go to the polls on December 9 and 14. The counting will be held on December 18.
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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