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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Explained: What does Kanhaiya Kumar bring to the poll table?

The CPI’s presence in Bihar is limited and may have been affecting Kanhaiya Kumar’s reach in the state as well.

By: Express News Service | Patna | Updated: October 27, 2020 2:35:05 pm
Kanhaiya Kumar (File)

Earlier this year, Communist Party of India leader and former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president, Kanhaiya Kumar, took on the Centre with protests and rallies against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the National Register of Citizens across 38 districts in Bihar. However, in the run-up to Bihar elections, Kumar has been largely missing in action.

Counted among the gen-next leaders of Bihar, along with Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Chirag Paswan, the 33-year-old Kumar made waves in last year’s general elections when he contested from Begusarai on a CPI ticket. However, despite big rallies that were widely shared on social media as well, he was defeated by the BJP’s Giriraj Singh. He polled 22.03 per cent of the votes.

READ | Kanhaiya Kumar interview: ‘It’s not a referendum on Modi, the anger is against Nitish’

Patna: CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar leaves for an election campaign rally ahead of Bihar assembly polls, in Patna (PTI)

As he continues to face trial in a sedition case, the young leader is looking to recalibrate his politics. However, the CPI’s presence in Bihar is limited and may have been affecting Kumar’s reach in the state as well. He is on the list of star campaigners of the Left parties in the upcoming polls, and is also expected to campaign for candidates of the Grand Alliance. It will be interesting to see if he shares the stage with Tejashwi Yadav, who many say sees Kumar, a young leader with popular appeal, as possible competition.

Some believe Kumar is perhaps biding his time, waiting for the outcome of the sedition case against him. For now, he has taken a backseat.

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