35-year-old Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani has tasted success for the first time in his political career. On Monday, Mevani was declared the winner from Vadgam Assembly constituency after he defeated BJP’s Chakravarti Vijaykumar Harkhabhai by a margin of more than 20,000 votes.
The win marks Mevani’s spectacular journey from a small-time activist to a lawmaker. Though Mevani fought as an independent candidate, he was supported by Congress and AAP externally. A vocal critic of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Hindutva agenda, Mevani rose to prominence for strongly condemning atrocities on Dalits after a group of Dalit youths were publicly beaten up last year by cow vigilantes in Una, Gujarat.