BJP Win Unfortunate, But Ready to Fight in 2019: Jignesh Mevani
Dalit leader and Independent candidate Jignesh Mevani.
Dalit leader and Independent candidate Jignesh Mevani.(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Altered by The Quint)

BJP Win Unfortunate, But Ready to Fight in 2019: Jignesh Mevani

After a landslide victory in northern Gujarat’s Vadgam district, independent candidate and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani said that despite the BJP’s “unfortunate victory,” the country is ready to give it a tough fight in 2019. He was speaking at a victory procession in Vadgam on 18 December.

According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), he clinched the victory with 95,497 votes by a margin of more than 19,000 votes. Close on Mevani’s heels was BJP candidate Chakravarti Vijaykumar Harkhabhai, who garnered 75,801.

I express my gratitude to the people of Vadgam for all their support. Now I will raise the voice of Gujarat’s discriminated sections in the Assembly.
Jignesh Mevani to ANI

Nearly 70,000 Muslims voted for Mevani, as per CNN News18.

Jignesh Mevani makes the victory sign after his win in Vadgam, Gujarat.
Jignesh Mevani makes the victory sign after his win in Vadgam, Gujarat.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Jignesh Mevani)
To keep his electoral campaign afloat, Mevani had turned to crowdsourcing platform Crowdnewsing. The young Dalit leader’s campaign got a boost when acclaimed author Arundhati Roy contributed Rs 3 lakh on 30 November.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Crowdnewsing) 

Also Read: Gujarat Election Results: Porbandar, 7 Seats to BJP, 5 to Congress

35-year-old Jignesh Mevani had said during his campaign:

Financially, the odds are against us, the enemy camp in power has immense backing, not just from Indian corporations but global capital as well. But the people of India are responding and the fight is on.
Jignesh Mevani in a Crowdnewsing press release

Despite contesting as an Independent, Mevani had received the Congress’s silent support, to the extent that the party did not field any candidate from Vadgam. In 2012 too, it was a Congress candidate, Manilal Jethalal Vaghela, who had won by a margin of over 20,000 votes against BJP’s Vaghela Fakirbhai Raghabhai.

Jignesh Mevani addressing supporters in Una on 15 August 2016.
Jignesh Mevani addressing supporters in Una on 15 August 2016.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Jignesh Mevani) 

Also Read : Are Independent Candidates Strong Enough to Sway Gujarat Polls?

The most popular of all Independent candidates in the fray, Jignesh Mevani, entered the spotlight after organising protests against Una flogging incident in 2016. A lawyer and former journalist, Mewani was instrumental in bringing the Dalit plight to the forefront, and was involved in many movements pertaining to land rights of Dalits living in Gujarat.

On 15 August 2016, the Dalit activist made headlines when he declared – “You can keep the cow’s tail, but give us our land,” and administered a vow to 20,000 supporters to “never enter sewers and not to skin dead cattle.”

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