They will join the Congress on 28 September, Tuesday at the AICC headquarters in Delhi.

 

New Delhi: The team of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi will see some new additions in the form of former JNU president Kanhaiya Kumar, Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani and at least 10 other prominent student leaders soon. They will be joining the Congress on 28 September, Tuesday, at the 24 Akbar Road, AICC office in Delhi.

Congress sources involved in the deliberations between Gandhi and these young leaders said that they have not been promised any post in the party, with Gandhi asking them to “trust him” on the question of what position they would get once they join the Congress.

Apart from Kanhaiya, his JNU classmate and Madhya Pradesh based prominent youth leader, Anshul Trivedi, who has been closely associated with former MP Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh and has extensive experience of working among the tribals and the backward community of the state, will be taking the membership of the party on 28 September.

Sources said that while Kanhaiya and Rahul Gandhi have been talking since 2016, the frequency of their meetings increased in 2019. In 2020, the talks started revolving around the issue of him and his close associates, including Mevani and Trivedi, joining the Congress and working with his team. Earlier this month, at least two such meetings were held at Rahul Gandhi’s Delhi residence at 12 Tughlak Lane, where the joining modalities were finalised.

Sources quoted here said that these meetings were coordinated directly between Gandhi and Kanhaiya and no one, including political strategist Prashant Kishor, was the “intermediary” as was being reported by certain sections of the media. “That was all bunkum, Rahul Gandhi and Kanhaiya have the mobile numbers of each other and they don’t converse through intermediaries. This is not the way Rahul Gandhi works. He will call you directly if he needs to speak to you,” the source said.

During these interactions, Rahul Gandhi made it clear that he wanted only those people who were ready to work for the party without seeking any position in return. “He was very clear on that, if you are coming for the lure of a post, then you don’t need to,” an old associate of Rahul Gandhi told The Sunday Guardian.

All these new entrants have been asked to start working on the ground at a pan-India level, rather than restricting themselves to a particular state. Kanhaiya Kumar had contested the 2019 general elections from his hometown of Begusarai in Bihar on a CPI ticket, but he lost to BJP’s Giriraj Singh.