Rumors are rife that CPI leader and former JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar is likely to join the Congress National party following his meet with the party leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday.
Sources close to Kanhaiya Kumar have told the Indian Express that the former JNU student was feeling suffocated in the CPI and hence met Gandhi on Tuesday to discuss his entry into the Congress.
However, upon asking CPI general secretary D Raja with regard to the leader’s possible exit, he confirmed to have only heard speculation in this regard. “I can only say that he was present at the national executive meeting of our party earlier this month. He spoke and participated in the deliberations,” Raja told The Indian Express.
While Kanhaiya Kumar remained unavailable for comments, sources in Congress said he is keen to play a key role in Bihar politics. Alongside Kumar, the Congress is also in touch with Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani who had helped the party in the last Assembly elections by not fielding a candidate from the Vadgam seat in Banaskantha district of northern Gujarat.
Congress which has lost many worthy young leaders in the past years like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sushmita Dev, Jitin Prasada, and Priyanka Chaturvedi is eyeing Kumar’s entry into the party as a gain in terms of optics as one of the narratives regarding the party in the past two years has been of young leaders.
However, some party leaders are of the opinion that Kumar could prove to be baggage for the party given his controversial past and a mild disciplinary action against him earlier this year for a ruckus at the party’s Patna office in December last year.
The Congress had performed poorly when compared to allies RJD and CPI(ML) in the last Bihar assembly elections. The Congress could win only 19 of the 70 seats it contested. While the RJD won more than half of the 144 seats it contested, the CPI(ML) won 12 of the 19 seats where it fielded candidates.