Kanhaiya's Candidature from Begusarai Became 'Deal-breaker' Between CPI and RJD for Bihar Alliance
According to RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha, the CPI-RJD alliance could not be forged also because his party was not willing to compromise on its candidate Tanveer Hassan.
File photo of former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. (PTI)
New Delhi: The candidature of former JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar from Begusarai in Bihar was the "deal-breaker" between the CPI and RJD as the Lalu Prasad-led party doubted Kumar's winnability quotient in the Lok Sabha election in view of the several controversies surrounding him.
According to Rajya Sabha MP and RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha, the CPI-RJD alliance could not be forged also because his party was not willing to compromise on its candidate Tanveer Hasan, considering his popularity and the work done by him in Begusarai.
"The RJD has been a very strong force. Even in the so-called (Narendra) Modi wave during the 2014 election, our candidate got almost four lakh votes and since then, he has never left Begusarai. It was impossible for us to set aside Hasan's candidature. We have a strong cadre that wanted Hasan and there is nothing we could have done. And, this became a deal-breaker," he told PTI.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Hasan had finished second by losing to BJP's Bhola Singh by a margin of over 55,000 votes. CPI's Rajendra Singh was a distant third with nearly 1.92 lakh votes.
Sources in the RJD claimed there were "several strong factors", like being an old face, non-controversial image and minority tag, which were in Hasan's favour and contributed to the party's decision to let go of the alliance.
According to sources in the CPI's Bihar unit, there was also discontentment among a section of leaders about the party nominating Kumar and compromising on the alliance.
Jayant Jigyasu, who was a close aid of Kumar during the sedition row but later parted way's to establish RJD's student wing in JNU, said it was "Kumar's arrogance and ignorance that led to the alliance fallout".
"Kumar was massively supported in JNU by different factions because he was seen as a leader and not an opportunist. As a leader, he should have thought of forming the alliance and defeating the BJP collectively rather than being adamant for the sake of his political career."
"There is nothing wrong in having political ambitions, but there is much more he could have brought to the table rather than him just becoming a deal-breaker for a crucial alliance," Jigyasu said.
Kumar did not respond to repetitive calls made to seek his comment on the alliance fallout.
Kumar, who has emerged as a prominent face of Left politics, is pitted in a three-way contest with NDA's Giriraj Singh and RJD's Hasan.
The former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) leader shot to fame in 2016 and was later, arrested on sedition charges following an event on hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
On January 14, the Delhi Police had filed a charge sheet in the court against Kumar and others for leading a procession and supporting seditious slogans raised on the JNU campus during an event on February 9, 2016.
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