Left parties field several youngsters in Bihar polls

Several young student leaders in their thirties have been fielded by Left parties in the upcoming Bihar Elections. Of the six student leaders, one is a JNU alumnus

Left parties field several youngsters in Bihar polls
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Ashlin Mathew

Several young student leaders in their thirties have been fielded by the Left parties in the upcoming Bihar Elections, which is set to be conducted in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7. Of the six student leaders, one is an alumnus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi.

Sandeep Saurav, Manoj Manzil, Ranjit Ram, Aftab Alam, Jitendra Paswan and Ajit Kushwahare, who are all in their thirties have been fielded by CPI(ML).

Sandeep Saurav, the 2013-14 JNU Students Union, and currently AISA National General Secretary, is contesting from Paliganj seat as CPI (ML) candidate under Mahagathbandhan umbrella. He had completed his doctoral studies in Hindi Literature. The Paliganj seat was last won by a CPI (ML) candidate in 2005. In 2015, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Jai Vardhan Yadav won the seat, but he shifted to Janata Dal (United) in August 2020. Jai Vardhan had won the seat with 65,932 votes. In 2010, Usha Vidyarthi of BJP had won the seat.

“This is a Yadav-dominated constituency and has a number of landless farmers and daily wage labourers. We will highlight the insensitiveness of the Nitish Kumar government. They are anti-students and anti-farmers. During the lockdown, this government had blocked its borders for its own residents walking from other states,” said 33-year-old Saurav, who was on his way to file his nomination. Paliganj goes to election on October 28.

Thirty-seven-year-old Dalit leader Manoj Manzil will be contesting the election from Agiaon, which also goes to polls on October 28. He is the national president of Revolutionary Youth Association, the youth organisation of CPI(ML). This firebrand leader has galvanised several protests to protect the rights of Dalit students in the area.

In 2015, Manoj was arrested in what local people call farzi (false) cases. He has at least 10 cases slapped on him for leading agitations to protect the rights of his people.


Manzil holds a post-graduate degree in political science from Veer Kunwar Singh University. Manzil had contested from Agiaon in 2015 and came in third with 31,789 votes. The winning Grand Alliance candidate Prabhunath Prasad got 52,276 votes and BJP’s candidate got 37,572 votes.

“Between 2015 and now, we have led several movements for landless farmers, and we hope that will help us win in this election. This time we are a part of the Mahagatbandhan, so the chances of votes getting cut are unlikely. Even if a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) candidate contests, it won’t matter,” said Manzil, who was also part of the Azadi Kooch march led by Jignesh Mevani from Ahmedabad to Una.

Ranjit Ram, who is a practising lawyer and a Ravidas Sewa Sangh secretary, will be contesting from the reserved Kalyanpur constituency of Samastipur district in north-west Bihar. This 35-year-old was part of the Janadhikar Padyatra from Darbhanga to Patna demanding for people’s rights and the ouster of BJP.

In 2015, this seat was won by JD(U) leader Maheshwar Hazari by one of the highest margins of 52,000 votes by defeating Ram Vilas Paswan’s nephew Prince Raj, who had contested under the LJP banner. JD(U) won this seat in the 2015 byelections and in 2010 too.

Aftab Alam, who is the state vice-president of Insaaf Manch, will be contesting from Aurai Assembly seat in the Muzaffarpur district, where 35 girls were found to have been sexually abused and then missing from a shelter home. The district had also witnessed riots in 2015 when a mob looted, murdered and set buildings on fire while the police merely watched. Alam has completed his graduation from Magadh University.

In 2015, as a part of Mahagatbandhan, Surendra Kumar of RJD had won the elections with 66,958 votes and BJP leader Ram Surat Ray had come in second with 56,133 votes. RJD has always contested elections from this constituency, so the 35-year-old Alam hopes those votes will be transferred to him and CPI-ML also has strong following in the constituency. Aurai will go to polls in the third phase of elections.

Thirty-two-year-old Ajit Kushwaha, who is the state president of Revolutionary Youth Association, will be contesting from Dumraon in south Bihar. He is also a former AISA Bihar state secretary. He completed his doctoral studies in the history of farmers’ agitation in Bihar from Veer Kunwar Singh University.

In 2015, JD(U)’s Dadan Singh Yadav won the seat with 81,081 votes, while the runner-up was Ram Bihari Singh of Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP). The CPI(ML) candidate had come in fourth with only 4,216 votes. “Last time there was the JD(U) was in alliance with RJD, which is why they got so many votes. This time, we were allotted this seat, so we are hoping that will help us,” explained Kushwaha. Dumraon will go to polls on October 28, the first phase of elections.

The youngest is 31-year-old Jitendra Paswan, who will be contesting from Bhore constituency of Gopalganj. He had contested the Assembly elections in 2015 too from the same constituency when CPI(ML) was not a part of the Mahagatbandhan. He was part of the Azadi Kooch march led by Jignesh Mevani from Ahmedabad to Una to observe one year of assault on seven members of a Dalit family.

In 2015, Amil Kumar of Congress had won the seat with 74,365 votes, followed by BJP’s Indradev Manjhi with 59,494 votes. This reserved seat will be going to polls in the second phase.


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Published: 07 Oct 2020, 8:04 AM