New Delhi: Former JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar along with independent Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani will join Congress on September 28.
"On September 28, I will be joining the Indian National Congress along with Kanhaiya Kumar," Mevani told news agency PTI, adding that he will be able to talk in detail about the decision only after that.
The Congress has decided to make it a high profile induction with presence of senior leader Rahul Gandhi during the joining of both the leaders. The day coincides with the birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Working president of Gujarat Congress Hardik Patel will also attend the function in Delhi.
Both the leaders had met Rahul Gandhi recently and sources say that talks have been finalised between these leaders and the Congress party. The Congress wants to rope in these two leaders ahead of assembly polls and particularly Mevani before Gujarat polls for their oratory and crowd pulling capabilities.
Mevani is an independent MLA in Gujarat and has won election with the support of the Congress. The trio of Alpesh Thakor, Hardik Patel and Mevani was with the Congress in 2017 elections when Congress did put up a good show but could not win elections and now Congress wants to rope in Mevani ahead of polls while Alpesh has joined the BJP.
"We welcome all the revolutionary youths who are willing to work for the development of the country and strengthen the Congress party and the ideals of (Mahatma) Gandhi, Sardar (Patel) and (Jawaharlal) Nehru," Hardik Patel said in a statement. He described Mevani as "an old friend" and said his entry will help the party both in the state and at the national level.
Sources also said that during the talks in the past, Kanhaiya Kumar had emphasised on having his own team to work in Bihar in order to start a movement and then gradually take it to the national level.
The Congress in Bihar in the recent Assembly polls was almost routed. It could manage to win just 19 seats out of 70 seats it contested in alliance with the RJD and its performance was considered one of the reasons for the defeat of the grand alliance.
Congress is hopeful that a fiery band of youngsters in its rank will shake up the voter base that the Narendra Modi-led BJP currently enjoys in Bihar.
However, some leaders are of the opinion that the alleged incident of Kumar raising "anti-national" slogans at JNU in 2016 will hurt the party's cause.
(With inputs from IANS)