Will Kanhaiya turn Begusarai into “Leningrad of East” and fade Modi Magic?

JNU Former Leader Kanhaiya Kumar (Photo Credit: Friday Times)

-Abbad Kamal

The announcement of Kanhaiya Kumar entering the electoral politics has created a new buzz in the political circle. In a bid to sail the ship of rainbow coalition comprising RJD, Congress, HAM(S), NCP, Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal and Left parties, a new face with mass appeal is required who can galvanize youths, supporters and cadres in Bihar.

After the historic victory in 2014, PM Narendra Modi has captured the entire television screen across the India. There was not a single leader who can match his oratory skill and mass appeal. Thereafter in 2016, Kanhaiya Kumar won JNUSU President Election and became the first member of AISF to reach this milestone. His rise as a student leader with good oratory skill and political intelligence has raised eyebrows within the ruling party. In 2016, he was put behind bars in a sedition case. After 20 days of his arrest; he was released from the jail on bail and delivered a historic speech at JNU, turning the whole event of crisis into opportunity has made him a young leader.

Kanhaiya Kumar is a native of a small village of Bihar, which comes under Teghra assembly constituency in Begasurai district of Bihar. It is considered as stronghold of CPI. He comes from a humble background, his mother works as an Anganwadi worker and father works as a Jeep driver. As he comes from low economic background so he is familiar with the kind of hardship faced by the lower strata of society which accounts majority population of Bihar.

No Young leader can match his statesmanship in the present era. He would be ideal for the joint opposition candidature from Begusarai in 2019 general election. There is a slogan going on in Begusaria that every coal will be going red in the upcoming election. The sun will rise for the left in Bihar, as he is ready to make journey from “Begusarai to Sansad”.

In 2015 assembly election, Modi Magic had failed and lost badly in the hand of “Mahagathbandan”  headed by Nitish Kumar, then he was a foe now an ally. It would be interesting to see how they will perform in the changed political environment and equation. Caste Equation and Ideology play a pivotal role in elections in Bihar as well as in India.

Electoral History of Begusarai Lok Sabha Seat

In the last Lok Sabha Election, the BJP had won this seat for the first time in history by around 60,000 votes. The runner up for this seat was RJD candidate named Tanveer Hasan . The CPI candidate came third with 1,92,000 votes. The combined votes of RJD and CPI are more than BJP votes by 1,30,000. The last two elections won by the JD(U)’s Rajeev Ranjan Singh and Monazir Hasan in 2004 and 2009 respectively.

In 2015 state assembly election, BJP was unable to win a single assembly seat coming under the parliamentary constituency of Begusarai. The Mahagathbandan bagged every seat with a margin of minimum 15,000 votes. With this performance BJP is likely to concede this seat to his alliance partner JD (U). If BJP-JD(U)-LJP–RSLP alliance is able to reach a consensus on seat agreement then they can give a fight. Otherwise, Begusarai seat would be a cake for Kanhaiya Kumar.

Some Political Analysts are saying that the win for Kanhaiya Kumar is sure only margin has to be decided. Vikas and Modinomics will be defeated in the land of “Leningrad”. It would be easy for him to target Narendra Modi from inside the Parliament. His sarcastic comment and political intelligence overshadow the Modi rhetorics.

PM Narendra Modi easily targets Rahul Gandhi for being politically novice and inexperienced. But,  Kanhaiya is politically shrewd as well as highly experienced in terms of grassroots politics. He carries no political liability such as corruption or pariwarvad. He is a cadre, rose from lower rank to the top level.

Social Engineering

Social engineering in Begusarai will be of the best level if Yadav backed poor Bhumihar candidate.  In addition, Muslim votes get accumulated in favor of rainbow coalition nominee, considered as anti–BJP votes. Yadav and Bhumihar are considered to be arch rivals in Bihar.

Caste and Class

Battle of 2019 is going to be very interesting as opposition parties are gearing up to include all castes by roping in Shatrughan Sinha and Kirti Azad into the alliance. If that happened then the upper caste will be well represented like Kayastha, Brahmin and Bhumihar in the coalition which will make the task for BJP even tougher. The Muslim-Yadav combination helped the RJD to come back in the state politics which accounts for 30% of total votes. With the entry of Jitan Ram Manjhi and the suspension of SC/ST Atrocities Act will rally dalit votes behind the coalition. Caste and Class is in the favor of coalition. They only need a strong leader who can put together the vote and charge their cadre for mobilization.

In the last assembly election, people have voted out BJP but later on they formed government through back channel. The mood of the people is clearly against the BJP, as in the recently held by polls in Bihar, NDA candidates lost 3 out for 4 seats.

Rainbow Coalition comprising RJD, Congress, HAM(S), NCP, Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal and Left parties together will make the task even more difficult for Narendra Modi to win 15 seats in the upcoming general election in 2019 in Bihar.

(Abbad Kamal is a budding journalist. He writes for different media houses.)

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