At a time when the party facing a crisis in states like Punjab and Rajasthan, Former JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani joined the Congress on Tuesday. According to reports, the duo joined the party in front of leader and former INC president Rahul Gandhi.
Kumar had joined the Communist Party of India (CPI) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election and had unsuccessfully contested from Begusarai in Bihar against Giriraj Singh of the BJP.
Mevani, an independent MLA from Gujarat, enjoys massive popular support. The legislator represents the Vadgam constituency and is the convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM).
He is a lawyer-activist and a former journalist. Mevani's entry into the Congress comes at a time when it is wooing the scheduled castes community after handpicking the first Dalit chief minister of Punjab.
Charanjit Singh Channi succeeded Amarinder Singh as chief minister of Punjab, seen as a bold step by the party for wooing back the scheduled castes, traditionally considered the vote bank of the Congress.
During their joining ceremony, Kumar addressed the media and said that today, India needed "Bhagat Singh's bravery, Bhagat Singh's courage is needed, Ambedkar's equality is needed, today this country needs Gandhiji's unity".
"We want to fight the battle by joining the largest democratic party, the oldest party of this country," the former student leader said.
However, the party suffered a fresh setback in Punjab on Tuesday when state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned.
(With inputs from PTI)