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'Nothing is Decided Yet': Kanhaiya Kumar on Contesting 2019 LS Polls From Bihar's Begusarai

It is speculated that former JNU leader Kanhaiya Kumar will contest against the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine on a CPI ticket.

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Updated:September 3, 2018, 3:01 PM IST
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'Nothing is Decided Yet': Kanhaiya Kumar on Contesting 2019 LS Polls From Bihar's Begusarai
File photo of Kanhaiya Kumar presenting his JNU thesis to his mother.
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New Delhi: Amid speculation that 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, the young leader told CNN-News18 that “nothing has been decided” as yet.

It is speculated that Kumar will contest against the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine on a CPI ticket.

"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 the 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.

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.

Kumar was born in Bihat, in Begusarai district of Bihar, a stronghold of the Communist Party of India. The Begusarai Lok Sabha seat is currently held by the BJP’s Bhola Singh who defeated RJD’s Tanveer Hasan by 58,000 votes in 2014. The CPI did get 17% of the voteshare in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

As a member of the CPI’s student wing – All India Students Association — Kanhaiya was elected president of the JNU students union.

Kanhaiya was arrested on February 12, 2016, under Sedition charge for allegedly organising an event where some students protested the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and allegedly shouted ‘anti-national’ slogans.
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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