Putting all speculations to rest, CPI leader and former JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar will join the Congress on Tuesday as the Grand Old Party seeks to infuse new blood to ramp up its chances ahead of the 2025 Bihar elections.
According to the itinerary, Kumar will begin his new innings by garlanding the statue of Bhagat Singh at the Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh Park, ITO. This will be followed by his formal induction at the Congress headquarters at 3pm and a press conference at 3.30pm.
Political circles were abuzz with Kumar jumping ship after he met former Congress president Rahul Gandhi amid reports that he was feeling “suffocated” in the CPI.
Sources in Congress said Kumar was keen to play a key role in Bihar politics. Alongside Kumar, 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, is also likely to join the Congress on Tuesday.
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.