With Lok Sabha elections round the corner, seat sharing exercise becomes a daunting task for most of the political parties. Especially, in a state like Bihar where caste plays a major role in deciding the candidature of any leader from a particular seat, it is utterly troubling. However, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by BJP has smoothly shot down this, the combined opposition still seems to be in dilemma. Yesterday, the opposition parties in Bihar also finalised a primitive equation (still negotiations is going on), however, former JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar’s candidature has been an albatross around the neck of the opposition parties.
According to sources, the alliance partners of Mahagathbandhan have reached a broader consensus formula under which the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Yadav will contest on 18 seats, Congress on 12, Rashtriya Lok Samta party (RLSP) of Upendra Kushwaha on 3, Vikas Sheel Insan party on 1, Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal on 1 and remaining 5 to be distributed between Hindustani Awam Morcha of Jitan Ram Manjhi, CPI and CPI (M).
The problem here is that Kanhaiya Kumar is a member of Communist Party and was to contest from Begusarai but RJD is not keen on letting the seat go to the left party. For more than a year now, there were speculation that the former JNUSU leader might be fielded from the Begusarai constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by the CPI, which has started to garner support for him by consulting Lalu Yadav. The CPI leadership has approached the RJD supremo for supporting Kanhaiya Kumar a proposition to which Lalu Yadav readily agreed.
In September last year, after holding a meeting with Lalu Yadav, CPI state secretary Satya Narayan Singh said, “Left parties, including the CPI, want him to contest the Lok Sabha election from Begusarai in 2019 and other parties such as Congress and RJD also want him to contest the election”. He went on to add about the support from Lalu Yadav by saying, “During our talks held on earlier occasions, Prasad had agreed to leave a seat for him.”
Now at the time of seat sharing, whatsoever be the case, RJD does not seem to be ready to let go the Begusarai seat. Such is the dynastic culture of RJD that to promote his sons, Lalu Yadav is blocking a candidate who has been termed by his own party as a ‘sure shot’ win. Perhaps RJD supremo sees a young version of himself in Kanhaiya, someone who will be able to dominate Bihar politics in the future against the BJP, but he wants his incompetent sons to play that role.
Earlier, the RJD had declared its support for Kanhaiya Kumar and RJD supremo himself assured for his candidature from Begusarai seat. However, this assurance has weakened with local pressure from the party, in support of Tanveer Hasan who lost to the JD(U) candidate in 2014 by 58,000 votes. The former JNUSU President is from the Bihat panchayat which falls under the Barauni block of Begusarai district and the CPI has decided that he will contest from here, “or nowhere.” He is a star campaigner in his own right and “can wait if it comes to that,” the CPI sources quoted. It seems that Kanhaiya and RJD doesn’t make a natural match. Not to forget that the CPI is yet to announce its first list of candidates.