Dalit activist and newly-elected MLA from Vadgam, Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday once again attacked PM Narendra Modi and said the Gujarat assembly elections result was a victory for his movement in the state. Mevani, who had declared support to Congress, said results will worsen for BJP in 2019 General elections. “They were claiming they’ll win 150 seats but that pride has been crushed, same will happen in 2019, it is a victory for our movement,” Mevani said. “In coming days, we will intensify our movement in Assembly and on streets, will also corner them in 2019,” he added.
“My victory will ensure the voice of every marginalised and poor (person) is raised in the Gujarat assembly,” Mevani had told reporters.
Mevani’s first day as MLA also made headlines. On Tuesday, he visited the collector’s office to submit an application form for construction of proper roads in Vadgam villages. Later, the Dalit leader took to Twitter and posted the picture of his application. Mevani won from Vadgam defeating BJP nominee Vijay Chakravarti by a huge margin of 19,696 votes. Mevani polled 95,497 votes on the seat reserved for a Schedule Caste candidate, while Chakravarti got 75,801 votes. The first time MLA thanked all non-governmental organisations and political parties which had helped him in campaigning.
Regarded as the face of Dalit protests in Gujarat, Mevani earlier posted a message on social media and said that he jumped into the poll battle after being “persuaded” by youths and numerous agitators. Mevani shot to fame after he protested the alleged flogging of seven Dalit youths by self-styled cow vigilantes at Una last year.
BJP’s seat count has been reduced in Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, though the party has won. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has termed the election verdict as a moral victory for the Congress. Mevani, Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor were three pressure group leaders who were considered significant in the elections. The BJP won 99 seats in the elections, while the Congress bagged 77.