Gujarat: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani managed to defeat Bharatiya Janta Party candidate Chakravarti Harkabhai from Vadgam seat with 18000 votes in the Gujarat assembly elections.
Mevani fought the election as an independent candidate with an external support from Congress.
The Dalit lawyer-activist, along with Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel and OBC leader Alpesh Thakore, has emerged as the face of resistance against the BJP, which has ruled Gujarat for the last 20 years.
Late last month, he announced he was standing for election as an independent candidate from the Vadgam constituency of north Gujarat's Banaskantha district, prompting the Congress to swiftly withdraw its candidate from the seat, a traditional stronghold of the party.
The highway-side dhaba-cum-hotel is Mevani's election headquarters where an assortment of young activists from in and around Gujarat and from faraway Jawaharlal Nehru University brainstorm to make the 35-year-old's maiden foray into electoral politics a success.
With around one lakh Muslims and Dalit voters in the 2.5 lakh-strong constituency, Mevani, who emerged as a Dalit spearhead after organising movements against atrocities against the community in Una, was largely expected to sail through.