To infuse young blood Congress to induct Kanhaiya Kumar & Jignesh Mevani; uneasy calm in Left camp
In order to rejuvenate grand old party ahead of crucial Gujarat assembly polls in 2022 and Lok Sabha polls in 2024, Congress is likely to induct two young leaders, Kanhaiya Kumar and Jignesh Mevani
Reminiscent of what Congress, under the leadership of Indira Gandhi did in the 70s – when the former Prime Minister formed the “New Congress” and inducted young leaders from the Left outfits in the party – the Congress of 2021, under Rahul Gandhi is doing the same.
In order to rejuvenate the grand old party ahead of the crucial Gujarat assembly polls in 2022 and Lok Sabha polls in 2024, the Congress has decided to induct two young leaders, Kanhaiya Kumara and Jignesh Mevani – both from the Left background – into the party.
At least three sources from Bihar, Gujarat and Delhi have told NH that the induction of the two is confirmed. Only the date of the joining has to be finalised.
A top-placed source old NH that the former JNU president had met Rahul Gandhi to discuss his role in Bihar and challenges posed by the BJP and RSS before the party and the nation last week.
Kanhaiya has also met Priyanka Gandhi. It is learned that poll strategist, Prashant Kishore who is also likely to join the Congress, facilitated the meeting between the two.
Kanhaiya who was jailed by the Modi government for the alleged anti-India sloganeering in JNU has a huge following among the youths all over the country. He is regarded as one of the most credible anti-BJP, RSS faces in India.
“This paid off well…He is likely to be given a top post in the Bihar Congress,” said the source.
Notably, Kumar contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election from his hometown of Begusarai in Bihar but lost to the BJP’s Giriraj Singh.
The seat of power in Bihar, Patna is also abuzz with Kanhaiya joining the Congress. A top Bihar Congress functionary told NH hat his joining is confirmed.
While a section of media reported that both Kanhaiya Kumar and Jignesh Mevani may join on September 28 – the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh, another section claimed they will join on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2.
However, a source from Gujarat Congress said they will join some other day.
Like Kanhaiya Kumar, Jignesh Mevani, a young MLA from Gujarat’s Vadgam constituency is also known for his strong anti-BJP-RSS posturing.
The face of the Una Dalit uprising, Mevani won the last assembly poll in Gujarat as an independent with support from the Congress. As per sources, Mevani could be made a Working President of the party’s state unit.
“He is already accepted among Congress leaders and workers. I do not see any problem in accommodating him,” said a Congress leader from Gujarat.
Bihar watchers feel induction of Kanhaiya will boost party workers' morale and bring Muslims back to the Congress’ fold.
“Since 90s Lalu Prasad Yadav remained at the center of Bihar politics. By adding Muslim votes with Yadav, Lalu discovered a formidable, winning formula for his party RJD…He ate into Congress’ vote bank, and pushed the party further into margins,” said a Patna-based watcher.
Kanhaiya joining the Congress will certainly be advantageous for the grand old party in the long term. He is young, dynamic, and a great orator, said the watcher.
When asked if Kanhaiya’s induction in the Congress won't hamper its ties with the RJD, the watcher said, “RJD was instrumental in Kanhaiya losing Begusarai seat to BJP in Lok Sabha election 2019”.
Contrary to the Congress where there is hustle and bustle, an uneasy calm prevails in the Left camp.
An old friend of Kanhaiya, who is credited for Kanhaiya joining AISF – the student outfit of the CPI, a few days ago downplayed the news after learning about his comrade’s intention.
“Kanhaiya was feeling suffocated in resource-crunched party tightly gripped by oldies who have zero appeal masses,” said a Kanhaiya sympathizer.
There is also a strong possibility that Jammu-based lawyer, Deepika Singh Rajawat who fought for justice in a horrific Kathua rape case might join with Kumar and Mevani.
Published: 23 Sep 2021, 1:20 PM