There is a growing uneasiness between Kumar and his party amid media reports of him joining the Congress with Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on Tuesday.
Putting all speculations to rest, CPI leader and former JNU Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar is set to join the Congress on Tuesday. Posters welcoming Kumar into the Congress have been put up outside the party office in Delhi ahead of his proposed joining.
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani will also join the Grand Old Party today. Last Saturday, Gujarat MLA and Dalit leader Mevani told a section of the media that he and Kumar will join the Congress on September 28. “On September 28, I will be joining the Indian National Congress along with Kanhaiya Kumar,” Mevani was quoted as saying.
There is a growing uneasiness between Kumar and his party amid media reports of him joining the Congress with Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on Tuesday. An internal split within the CPI over promoting Kumar at the national level may have triggered his imminent exit from the party.
Congress, which is facing an existential crisis in Bihar, sees Kumar’s entry as a boost in the NDA-ruled state as the Grand Old Party seeks revival in the 2025 Bihar assembly polls. Also, Kumar’s entry will come amid the suffering desertion by many young leaders in the past two years, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sushmita Dev, Jitin Prasada and Priyanka Chaturvedi.
While Kumar is considered a crowd-puller, some leaders in the Congress Kumar could be a baggage for the party given his controversial past. Even in the CPI, he had faced a censure – a mild disciplinary action – earlier this year for a ruckus at the party’s Patna office in December last year.
Kumar unsuccessfully contested the Begusarai Lok Sabha election as a CPI candidate and lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart and Union minister Giriraj Singh in 2019.
Mevani, who is currently a legislator in Gujarat and represents the Vadgam constituency, is the convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM). He is a lawyer-activist and a former journalist. Mevani’s entry into the Congress comes at a time when it is wooing the scheduled castes community after making one amongst them the chief minister of Punjab.
There is speculation that Congress could give Kumar a role in Bihar state Congress and Mevani in Gujarat, which will go for polls by the end of next year.