Jignesh Mevani’s political journey from AAP to Congress through defamation case

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Mevani rose to prominence at the national level in 2016 leading the protests that followed the Una whipping incident. In July 2016, seven members of a Dalit family were attacked by a mob on the pretext of cow protection.

New Delhi: Gujarat MLA and Dalit rights activist Jignesh Mevani is finally moving into the arms of the Congress. A former journalist, Mevani is working as an independent MLA and convener of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM). He joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2014 and became the spokesperson of Gujarat, but broke away from the Arvind Kejriwal-led political outfit in 2016 as the party did not show much potential in the state.

Mevani rose to prominence at the national level in 2016 leading the protests that followed the Una whipping incident. In July 2016, seven members of a Dalit family were attacked by a mob on the pretext of cow protection in Una, Gujarat. Around that time, Mevani emerged as the face of the ‘Dalit Asmita Yatra’ in Gujarat. Organized to highlight the atrocities being committed on Dalits in the state, Mevani led the ‘Una Chalo Padyatra’ despite the viral fever.

In 2017, Mevani along with Kanhaiya Kumar joined the movement of ‘Kashtra Vahtuk Shramik Sangh’ in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Mevani became MLA from Vadgam constituency in 2017 election with the support of Congress workers.

A criminal case was registered against Mevani in 2018 for allegedly making provocative statements with intent to disturb social harmony and incite communal disharmony.

In 2019, a defamation case was filed against Mevani under sections 500 and 505(2) of the IPC after he uploaded a video on his Twitter account, which featured a teacher. RMVM School was allegedly beating up the students. The school headmaster had filed a defamation case against Mevani, in which Mevani held the incident responsible. He later deleted the video after learning that it was not shot at RMVM school.

Over the years, Mevani ventured into politics, developing contacts with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

First published:September 28, 2021, 1:13 pm

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