Kanhaiya joins congress

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Kanhaiya Kumar, MLA Jignesh Mewani and others while paying tribute to legendary freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh, at Shaheed Samarak in New Delhi on Tuesday
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 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Kanhaiya Kumar, MLA Jignesh Mewani and others while paying tribute to legendary freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh, at Shaheed Samarak in New Delhi on Tuesday

Highlights

  • He has no faith in Communist ideology: D Raja
  • History of communists’ presence in Cong: Tewari

New Delhi: Former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar joined the Congress party in New Delhi, in the presence of party leader Rahul Gandhi. Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, too, extended his support to the outfit, though he couldn't join the party formally due to technical reasons.

"I am joining the Congress because it's not just a party, it's an idea. It's the country's oldest and most democratic party, and I am emphasising on 'democratic'...Not just me, but many think the country can't survive without Congress," Kumar said.

"Congress party is like a big ship. If it's saved, I believe many people's aspirations, Mahatma Gandhi's oneness, Bhagat Singh's courage, and BR Ambedkar's idea of equality will be protected, too. This is why I have joined it."

He felt that a particular ideology was trying to ruin India's values, culture, history, and future. He also claimed that "crores of youngsters" feel that the country "can't be saved without saving the Congress".

Kumar was earlier with the Communist Party of India (CPI) which he joined ahead of the 2019 General Election. He then contested from his hometown Begusarai in Bihar against the BJP's Giriraj Singh of the BJP but failed to win.

Posters welcoming him to the party were put up outside the Congress office hours ahead of his switch. He reportedly met Gandhi twice recently over two weeks. He also met Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

A former president of the JNU Students' Union, Kumar was jailed over alleged "anti-national slogans" raised at an event in 2016 to mark the death anniversary of Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru.

The BJP, however, brushed aside the significance of Kanhaiya's move. Saying that Begusarai had rejected him, Bihar Minister Mangal Pandey told ANI that Mr Kumar was only demonstrating his "political ambition".

Kanhaiya Kumar has expelled himself from the CPI, the party's general secretary D Raja said moments after the former JNU leader quit the Left party and joined the Congress.

He alleged that Kumar was "not truthful" with the Communist Party of India (CPI) leadership and also not "straightforward" in his demands from the party. "Kumar expelled himself from the party.

Former Union minister Manish Tewari put out a cryptic tweet on Tuesday, saying it would be worthwhile to look at the history of communists' presence in the party.

Citing a book by Mohan Kumaramangalam, he said "the more things change, the more they remain the same". "As speculation abounds about certain Communist leaders joining Congress it perhaps may be instructive to revisit a 1973 book 'Communists in Congress' Kumarmanglam Thesis.

The more things change the more they perhaps remain the same. I re-read it today," Tewari said in a tweet. Tewari is among the "group of 23" leaders who wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi seeking an organisational overhaul and restructuring.

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