BJP is Now Using Goddess Durga Against Me, Says Kanhaiya Kumar
During his Bihar sojourn, Kanhaiya has already been booked on three accounts — intimidating doctors at AIIMS, Patna, inciting riots, and hurting religious sentiments of Hindus in his speech.
Former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar addressing an event in Begusarai, Bihar.
Patna: Former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar has shifted focus from Delhi to Bihar after the Communist Party of India (CPI) informally announced to field him from the Begusarai Lok Sabha Constituency, which is also his home district, in the next general elections.
Camping in Begusarai, he could be seen inaugurating Kabaddi tournaments, attending religious functions and seeking support for the October 25 'Bhaajpa Bhagao Desh Bachao' rally to be held at the historic Gandhi Maidan of Patna.
However, controversies continue to dog Kanhaiya. During his Bihar sojourn, he has already been booked on three accounts — intimidating doctors and creating ruckus inside AIIMS, Patna, attempt to murder and inciting riots around a Durga puja pandal in Begusarai, and hurting religious sentiments of Hindus in his speech.
Kanhaiya, though, is unfazed and prepared for the long haul. He labelled the attack by the BJP to project him as anti-Hindu before elections. The young leader spoke to News18 about recent controversies related to him and his political strategy.
Here are the edited excerpts from the interview:
Q: You claim your convoy was attacked on October 16 at Bhagwanpur in Begusarai. What happened?
Kanhaiya Kumar: We were returning from Mansoorchak after attending a rally. I was attacked near Dahia village under Bhagwanpur police station area by the supporters of the BJP's youth wing and the Bajrang Dal. You can easily identify them. They have uploaded pictures with Sushil Modi on their social media accounts. The attackers were patronised by a local BJP MLC Rajneesh. The intention was to cause harm to me and my colleagues.
Q: Is it correct that you were not stopped by them but you got off there to meet one of your acquaintances which resulted in a traffic jam in front of a puja pandal?
Kanhaiya Kumar: No. They are two different issues. The puja pandal was behind us. There was quite a distance between where we stopped and the place of the puja. A police escort party was with us. You can ask them.
Q: Locals told me that your followers, armed with iron rods and hockey sticks, attacked them. They also say that your comment on Goddess Durga was in bad taste?
Kanhaiya Kumar: Can you expect that a person who is starting out in politics will indulge in such things? And that too in his own constituency. These are all lies. And those you are referring to as locals are not common people but workers of the BJP and the Bajrang Dal. This was a politically motivated attack to tarnish my image and project me as anti-Hindu. They conspired to vitiate social harmony.
And one of the guys who was beaten up is not an apolitical person, but a member of the Bajrang Dal. Had we been armed, then 40-50 people would have been injured not one.
Q: How can you be sure that they were people from the RSS and the BJP?
Kanhaiya Kumar: Because common people in Dahia village are least concerned about this. The BJP workers are fanning the fire. You need to understand the history of Dahia village. I know very well because my ancestral home is just about a few kilometres away. Some families there have been with the RSS for a long time. Bhagwanpur Chowk is the only stronghold of the Bajrang Dal in Begusarai. All their senior leaders were at the spot just after five minutes. How can this be possible?
Q: What happened at AIIMS, Patna?
Kanhaiya Kumar: We went there to meet our AISF colleague Sushil. The hospital says I was with hundreds of supporters who scuffled with security guards and I misbehaved with doctors. Now my question is where is the CCTV footage? What is the evidence? If somebody was injured then where is the injury report? See, it's a conspiracy. The official Facebook page of AIIMS, Patna, describes me as 'anti-national Kanhaiya'. Can you expect a government body to brand me in such a way? The doctors who filed an FIR against me are associated with the BJP.
Q: Bihar's health minister and senior BJP leader Mangal Pandey has warned you saying Bihar is not JNU. What is your reaction?
Kanhaiya Kumar: Sometime back the same Mangal Pandey said he is not aware about any Kanhaiya Kumar. Now he is saying, “Be cautious, it's not JNU but Bihar. How was he able to identify me now? I have not developed any family relationship with him.” The FIR was lodged by the doctors against me at his behest. MLC Rajneesh touches his feet whose goons attacked me in Begusarai.
Q: How can you say everywhere people are conspiring against you?
Kanhaiya Kumar: This is for everyone to see. Lawyers were manipulated against me in courts, doctors were influenced to file a case, the Vice Chancellor of JNU was tasked to scuttle my PhD and now the BJP is using Goddess Durga against me. But I am not afraid.
Q: What is the difference between campus and electoral politics? What is the kind of feedback that you are getting in Begusarai?
Kanhaiya Kumar: The people here in Begusarai are clever. No one can fool them. When sedition charges were slapped against me then also they stood behind me. None can mislead them. I will continue my political journey following the rule of the law. My opponents first tried to brand me as an anti-national and are now trying to prove that I a ‘goonda (hoodlum)’.
I will continue to follow the path I chose in the JNU campus. I will not compromise with principles. They (BJP) were defeated in the JNU and will face the same fate in Begusarai.
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