The Communist Party of India (CPI) has decided to field former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) President Kanhaiya Kumar from the Begusarai Lok Sabha seat in Bihar.
“Kanhaiya will be the CPI candidate from Begusarai,” said State CPI Secretary Satyanarayan Singh here on Sunday.
Kanhaiya Kumar will be the Left parties’ joint candidate and take on Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Giriraj Singh in Begusarai.
Singh said the party had decided last week to field the former student leader in the Lok Sabha elections. “We wanted a secular democratic alliance to defeat the BJP,” he said.
The announcement has come two days after the Grand Alliance of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and other parties did not allocate Begusarai to the CPI.
The RJD is set to field Tanweer Hasan who lost to Bhola Singh of the BJP in 2014.
Speaking to the media on Sunday, Kanhaiya Kumar said his fight will be against Giriraj Singh, not the RJD.
“People of Begusarai will defeat Giriraj Singh and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will be defeated across Bihar as the people have made up their minds to oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.
He also called Giriraj Singh Pakistan’s ‘Visa Minister’ for his repeated threats of sending the critics of Modi and the BJP to Pakistan. “The people of Begusarai have decided not to support any hardliner. The BJP has been spreading hatred across the country,” he said.
He also vowed to work to minimise division of anti-NDA votes in Bihar and other states.
Kanhaiya Kumar, 32, was arrested in February 2016 and accused of sedition for allegedly doing nothing to prevent the raising of anti-India slogans on the JNU campus.
The JNUSU President for 2015-16, he was then pursuing doctorate from the School of International Studies and was affiliated to the All India Students Federation (AISF).
Kanhaiya Kumar belongs to a Bhumihar family in Begusarai.