Kanhaiya has never criticised the Bihar CM who in 2016 backed the JNU leader. Last year the latter reportedly intervened and let Kanhaiya’s Jan Gan Man yatra continue when the police stopped it
Soroor Ahmed | Clarion India
WHATEVER may be the political compulsions of the former president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU), Kanhaiya Kumar, his February 14 meeting with the senior minister of Janata Dal-United, Ashok Chaudhary, who is a close confidant of Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, has seriously let down all those who worked during the 2019 Lok Sabha election day in and day out as well as contributed generously to his campaign when he was fighting against the Union Minister and the BJP candidate from Begusarai, Giriraj Singh.
At the same time, it vindicated the stand of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, which did not trust him, and put its candidate, Tanvir Hasan in the fray.
That Kanhaiya lost to Giriraj by a whopping margin of 4,22,217 votes reveals how poorly-informed, ill-equipped and cut from the ground reality the Communists of all hues and colours were. Begusarai is the parliamentary constituency which, till the fall of Soviet Union in early 1990s and rise of Lalu Prasad during the same time, the Communists would love to call Leningrad of the East. An overwhelming number of votes Kanhaiya then got was of Muslims, who deserted Tanvir Hasan, a veteran socialist and no doubt among the best candidates of the RJD in Bihar.
Ironically, an overwhelming number of 1.98 lakh votes Tanvir got were of Yadavs, and some Extremely Backward Castes and Dalit votes. In comparison, he got much smaller percentage of Muslim votes.
At the constituency level, it was an undeniable fact that among all the three candidates, Tanvir Hasan was best and still has some hold among the people.
When the RJD fielded him in 2019 it had its own logic: that is in the 2014 Lok Sabha election he lost to the then BJP candidate, Bhola Singh, who incidentally died before the 2019 election, by a much smaller margin of around 59,000 votes. This was when the Narendra Modi wave was sweeping across the country.
Apart from the Communists it was the secular media which created a fake narrative across the country that Kanhaiya is in a position to pose a big challenge.
Kanhaiya may have good oratory skills and may have at some point of time political commitment, yet this correspondent, in a couple of articles written then, openly challenged that no Communist party, on its own, is in a position to win a single Lok Sabha seat anywhere in India. This correspondent was proved right as it is only in Kerala that the Left Democratic Front, which is in power in the state, managed to win just one seat out of total 20. In Tamil Nadu the Left won a couple of seats but that was in alliance with the DMK and Congress. In West Bengal, where they ruled for 34 long years, the rout was so bad that in 41 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats the Left Front did not manage to even save the deposit, that is, it got less than 10 per cent of the polled votes.
As Muslim votes in Begusarai saved Kanhaiya from losing his deposit, he deemed it fit to take a leading part in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act agitation.
According to Ajay Kumar, editor of newsportal, bihartimes.com, Kanhaiya could not get even five per cent of votes in his own village Bihat (in Begusarai), which has 8,000 votes. Even his own castemen, Bhumihars, his own relatives, and the Communist Party of India workers largely voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party. The shift of the Communist votes to the BJP in Begusarai was similar to that in West Bengal which ensured a big saffron victory. The BJP won 18 out of 42 seats there just because of this very reason.
When Kanhaiya launched his month-long Jan Gan Man yatra (march) as part of his anti-CAA campaign, from Champaran on January 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, he got whole-hearted support from the Muslims.
The Congress MLA, Shakeel Ahmed Khan, also a former president of JNUSU (he was then in AISF), former bureaucrat, Ghalib Khan, former senior Reliance executive, Haseeb Khan, general secretary of Bihar Rabita Committee, Afzal Husain Khan, were in the forefront.
Then too an attempt was made to highlight that the main opposition parties in Bihar, especially the RJD, is doing nothing on this count—though the truth is that the leader of opposition, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, had addressed many anti-CAA sit-ins (dharnas) across Bihar.
Kanhaiya might have been the rising star of the party, yet the problem started within the CPI. Insiders said that Kanhaiya was not very pleased with the Left parties’ alliance with the RJD and Congress.
But the problem started only when Kanhaiya, according to many CPI leaders, became too big for his boots.
A censure motion was overwhelmingly (107 out of 110 members) passed by the CPI in its three-day National Council meeting held in Hyderabad which ended on January 31.
The party action followed the alleged manhandling of CPI office secretary (Indu Bhushan) attached to the Bihar headquarters in Patna in December last. Kanhaiya was alleged to be involved in it. While CPI general secretary D Raja was very much present, Kanhaiya abstained from the National Council meeting. The CPI reportedly insisted that Kanhaiya share a part of money he had raised through crowdfunding.
However, Kanhaiya denied all these charges. But neither the CPI, nor Kanhaiya could explain as to what prompted him to suddenly go and meet the Janata Dal-United leader.
Anyway, Kanhaiya has never criticised Nitish Kumar who had in 2016 backed the JNU leader. It is another thing that Nitish was then with the Grand Alliance. But even last year Nitish reportedly intervened and let Kanhaiya’s Jan Gan Man yatra continue when the police stopped it in West Champaran district.