New Delhi: The recent entry of Kanhaiya Kumar, earlier associated with the Communist Party of India (CPI) and its student wing the All India Students Federation – including in his stint as President of the JNU Students Union, into the Congress has created ripples in the political circles.
It is believed that Kanhaiya, known for his stirring oratory and debating skills, may be given a key role in the Congress, with sources indicating that he could be made the Bihar unit’s Working President, like Hardik Patel in Gujarat, or a party Secretary.
In an interview with IANS, Kanhaiya, who is noted for dwelling on ideology, was unfazed on a question about switching between parties with different ideologies.
“Ideas can evolve. On hearing the word ‘ideology’, we get a pre-conceived idea in our mind. Change is a constant of the universe, but the foundation does not alter,” he said.
Kanhaiya said that for him, the foundation of his thought, or ideology, is related to Indian culture’s ethos of welfare of all and ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
Then training his guns on the BJP, he said that the present rulers of the country are those who do not like to be questioned, and are seeking to remove all vestiges of critical questioning and thought, which will undermine the country’s foundations.
Along with this, he also lauded the Congress’ historical legacy of taking along the cultural and civisational ethos of the country. That is why he chose to be associated with the party, Kanhaiya said. Internal rifts are rising in the Congress, and on the day of of his induction, the party’s Punjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu used Twitter to announce his resignation.
Asked to comment on this shortcoming, Kanhaiya contended that the focus on such aspects is a ploy by the ruling party to divert attention from the burning national issues and portray the opposition as incapable.
Rising prices of essential goods, unemployment, the farmers’ protests against the agriculture laws, and such key issues are the matters that should figure in the discourses, he said. He claimed that the BJP is itself not free of differences.
“Is everything okay between Amit Shah and (UP Chief Minister) Yogi (Adityanath)? Why is (Union Minister) Nitin Gadkari never seen with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modiji,” he asked.
Kanhaiya also said that the various issues that the opposition should raise are being taken up by the Congress. These include issues affecting the common man, which prompted his association with the party.
“I will also raise these issues – be it a matter concerning the farmer, the youth, the unemployed, the poor, the women – I will raise them all,” he said.
Questioned about his electoral ambitions, Kanhaiya, who had lost by a large margin from Bihar’s Begusarai in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls despite the CPI’s influence in the region, said that polls are a key aspect of representative democracy, but not the sole aspect.
He said that fighting polls is not his priority, but raising issues of public interest is. “It is necessary to fight for the common people,” he said.