With Lalu Yadav’s Support, Kanhaiya Kumar Enters Electoral Fray As Mahagathbandhan Candidate From Begusarai   Former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and jailed ex-chief minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav. 

Kanhaiya Kumar, the former president of the student’s union of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), is likely to be fielded as the candidate of the Mahagathbandhan from Bihar’s Begusarai Lok Sabha constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha election in 2019, the Times of India has reported.

Political observers predict that a grand coalition comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Jitan Ram Manjhi-led HAM (S), Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal, Left parties and even Rashtriya Lok Samta Party of Upendra Kushwaha will be forged to fight the formidable Janata Dal (United)-Bharatiya Janata Party- Lok Janshakti Party alliance in Bihar.

Citing sources within the RJD, the Times of India has reported that jailed chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav have decided to allocate the Begusarai seat to Kumar.

Kumar will enter the electoral fray as a Communist Party of India candidate.

This development comes after Kumar, in 2016, said he would not enter mainstream politics and would like to be a teacher.

I have already said that mainstream politics is not my calling. I am a student and want to be a teacher after I finish my PhD. However, I will continue with activism even then,” he was quoted by PTI as saying.

Communist parties continue to have a strong presence in Begusarai, and the place was a virtually impregnable leftist citadel even a decade back. The place is often referred to as the 'Leningrad of Bihar' and ‘Little Moscow’. Begusarai has historically witnessed the struggle between the landless and the landlords, who usually hail from the influential Bhumihar community. The district has a history of violent conflict between Bhumihar dominated Ranvir Sena and Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist (CPIML).

In few pockets of Begusarai, Communist party is dominated by Bhumihars. Kumar himself comes from a Brahmin-Bhumihar family. According to local observers, many land owning Bhumihars has embraced communism to protect their land from being acquired for the Bahruni fertiliser plant.

In the 1995 assembly election, the Left parties had swept Begusarai region winning five seats. Despite a steady decline in their influence, the Left parties put up a decent fight in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The seat was won by BJP candidate Bhola Singh (the first win ever for the party in this seat) by polling 4,28,227 votes. CPI’s Rajendra Prasad Singh finished third by bagging 1,92,639 votes.

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