Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani exclusively speaks to Oneindia
Firebrand Dalit leader and a potential game changer in the most talked about Gujarat elections was in the national capital on November 15 to speak his heart out about his plans for Gujarat and whether Congress has his support or not.
Speaking to Oneindia exclusively, on the change that can be brought about by the 7% Dalit population in Gujarat in the awaited assembly elections in the state, he said, "The role that will be played by the 7% Dalit in Gujarat and especially by our group is that we are building an anti-BJP climate, and we have been successful. The voting pattern is going to be Dalit, Patel, Muslims, OBC - which will deeply trouble the BJP. Though Dalits are just 7%, it will not remain 7%."
He added, "I am not just popular among Dalits, my influence is on the youth - irrespective of the caste they belong to,"
When asked about the response of people to his vision, he said, "The response to our work is incredible at the ground level. Wherever we go, people start mobilizing, Hardik is doing even better work - he can mobilize a large number of people. Alpesh, though a part of Congress now, has done great work previously,"
However, when asked about is support for Congress, Jignesh clearly and repeatedly stated that he has not extended his support to Congress, and will not fight for any particular political party. He will stay committed to his cause and will continue his struggle for the upliftment of the distressed classes.
"There is an enormous amount of unrest among the people of Gujarat - an outcome of the failure of the 'Gujarat Model of development', it's not inclusive", he said.
When asked why people should pin their hopes on him, Jignesh said, "My message is very clear, as a nation, as a society, we were never this trouble. The threat of fascism is looming over our head when the BJP is in power - this party cherishes the ideology of Hitler, Benito Mussolini - and this ideology is the cause of death of intellectuals. Keeping BJP out of power is the best option we have right now,"
On the much talked about tape involving Patil leader, Hardik Patel, Jignesh said, "It just shows their feudal, medieval mindset that if they can't counter someone politically, they will go to any extent,"
When asked about is 2019 Loksabha election plans, he said, "Plan for 2019 is very clear, first - will have to defeat the fascist BJP Government and to create my own political space,".