Kanhaiya Kumar, the former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU), is set to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Begusarai in Bihar.
Kumar will contest against the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine on a CPI ticket and it is expected that he will receive support from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, reported the Times of India.
Sources said no official decision had been taken on the issue so far but parties had reached an in-principle understanding on Kumar.
"If the party (CPI) decides to nominate me as its candidate from Begusarai and other grand alliance partners also extend their support, then I don't have any objection to it," Kumar told PTI.
Asked if he will still contest the election if CPI decides to go alone in 2019 general elections, Kumar said, "Alliance is a certainty and party will not go it alone in elections. CPI's party congress has passed a resolution under which it would work and coordinate in forming a grand alliance of which CPI will certainly be a part," he said.
CPI officials said RJD chief Lalu Prasad has given his consent in this regard. "Left parties, including the CPI want him to contest the Lok Sabha election from Begusarai in 2019 and other parties such as Congress and RJD also want him to contest the election," CPI state secretary Satya Narayan Singh said.
Stating that Prasad has given his consent for leaving a seat for Kumar, Singh said, "During our talks held on earlier occasions, Prasad had agreed to leave a seat for him."
An RJD leader, preferring anonymity, said there is a broad consensus among grand alliance partners and Left parties that there should be a joint candidate to defeat BJP and its allies in 2019 polls, but discussions have not started on seat sharing so far.
A native of Bihat panchayat under the Barauni block of Begusarai district, Kumar was arrested by the Delhi Police in February 2016 for his alleged involved in JNU event where anti-India slogans were raised, a charge denied by him. His mother works as an anganwadi worker while his father is a small farmer.
The former student leader was recently seen actively participating in the state politics. Soon after his release from jail, Kumar had met chief minister Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad. He had also faced criticism then for touching Prasad’s feet.
At present, the BJP represents Begusari in the Lok Sabha. In 2014, the saffron party’s Bhola Singh won the seat by defeating RJD’s Tanveer Hasan by 58,000 votes.
(With PTI inputs)