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  Metros   Mumbai  05 Jan 2018  Jignesh Mewani tries to create his mark in maha state politics

Jignesh Mewani tries to create his mark in maha state politics

THE ASIAN AGE. | AMEY TIRODKAR
Published : Jan 5, 2018, 2:34 am IST
Updated : Jan 5, 2018, 2:34 am IST

This is especially so, considering he has the support of RPI leader Prakash Ambedkar in the state.

Jignesh Mewani
 Jignesh Mewani

Mumbai: Jignesh Mewani — the young dalit leader who was recently elected MLA from Gujarat — is trying to gain a foothold in Maharashtra politics. So much so that his attempts could pose a challenge to  the prospects of state’s home-grown dalit leaders. This is especially so, considering he has the support of RPI leader Prakash Ambedkar in the state.

Amid the buzz created by “Elgar Parishad”; the violence during the 200th anniversary celebrations at Bhima-Koregaon, Pune; and the subsequent caste clashes across the state; Mewani is being seen as the future leader of dalits in Maharashtra. There is speculation that he could surpass Ambedkar, union minister Ramdas Athavale, and other dalit leaders in terms of popularity, especially among the youth.

During the Monday meeting in Mumbai however, Mr Mewani stated that more than becoming the leader of the community, he is interested in tackling issues such as unemployment, lack of education and social hurdles faced by the Dalit community.

Meanwhile, political observers are of the view that Mr Mewani’s fame is not enough when it comes to the politics of a state such as Maharashtra. Anant Dikshit, a senior political expert, said, “Mewani’s current fame is understandable as he has won an election in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state. But, to be a leader, he needs to sustain this momentum. He needs to go beyond boundaries inside the dalit community. And most importantly, he has to work on organisation building which is important in politics.”

Tags: prakash ambedkar, maharashtra bandh, ramdas athavale