Gandhinagar: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani on Monday announced he will contest the Gujarat Assembly elections as independent candidate from Vadgam constituency in Banaskantha district. He, however, asked Dalits not to vote for the BJP in the upcoming Gujarat polls.
Mevani had earlier met Rahul Gandhi and said the Congress vice-president agreed to include 90 per cent of his demands in the party's manifesto.
The BJP on Friday had named Vijaybhai Chakravarti as its candidate from Vadgam.
The moves comes after sitting MLA Manibhai Vaghela said the state Congress asked him not to contest the polls from the seat "as a part of an agreement" with Mevani. Also, he had no plans to join the Congress or any other party. "Thus, there won't be any Congress candidate on this seat", Vaghela added.
Mevani, who shot to limelight after a Dalit family was flogged publicly by cow vigilantes for allegedly killing a cow past year, will be in a direct contest with BJP's Vijay Chakravarthi if others do not file the nomination papers on Monday, the last day for the same.
It had earlier been reported that the Congress was looking to come to an arrangement with Mevani, Patidar leader Hardik Patel, and Alpesh Thakor.
The BJP is dismissive of the Congress strategy. Request other political parties and independents to withdraw so that it's a direct contest, " Mewani wrote on his Facebook post. "We don't have to tell them.", Jignesh had elucidated.
Voting for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held on two days, December 9 and 14.
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal wished Mr Mevani after his announcement. Results will be announced on December 18.
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