- Kanhaiya Kumar is likely to be fielded by the Communist Party of India
- The CPI has made a pitch to Lalu Yadav who has indicated his acceptance
- The former student leader is expected to be fielded in Bihar's Begusarai
Kanhaiya Kumar -- the former student leader from Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University -- is set to take the long-awaited political plunge from Begusarai, the Left citadel of Bihar. The 31-year-old is expected to be a candidate of the joint opposition in next year's general elections. The RJD, which is likely to decide on the opposition deployment in the state, is not averse to the idea.
The student leader, who made headlines after anti-India slogans were allegedly raised at an event in JNU linked to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's hanging, is likely to be fielded by the CPI. Though the formal process is yet to be launched, the CPI has made a pitch to veteran leader Lalu Yadav, who has indicated his acceptance.
Besides RJD, Kanhaiya Kumar -- who is already a part of CPI's 125-member national council -- is also likely to have the support of grand alliance partners Congress, NCP and Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM(S).
Mr Kumar, whose family is also from Begusarai district, told NDTV that he is willing to take the plunge, "but my party and then leaders of alliance has to approve my name". Asked why he has become so active in his hometown, Mr Kumar said, "Look, I'm active across the country, but Bihar and Begusarai is my birth place. So it gets some more attention."
Mr Kumar's mother is an anganwadi worker and his father is a farmer living in Baruni block of Begusarai.
"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 was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India. "During our talks held on earlier occasions, Prasad had agreed to leave a seat for him," he added.
The CPI, he added, has decided to contest six Lok Sabha seats in Bihar but a final decision would be taken after seat-sharing talks with like-minded parties.
In February 2016, Kanhaiya Kumar and fellow students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were arrested on charges of sedition in connection with the controversial event and are out on bail. He was fined Rs 10,000 by the university after an internal investigation.
But that was set aside by the Delhi High Court, after the students appealed, saying the Delhi police is yet to bring any charge against them despite two years of investigation.