The firebrand youth leaders – Kanhaiya Kumar from Bihar and Jignesh Mevani from Gujarat – are all set to join the Congress on September 28 in New Delhi, in the presence of former party chief Rahul Gandhi.
The past few days had seen social media buzzing with reports claiming that the two youth leaders known for their left ideologue and their hostility to the BJP-RSS faction will be joining the Congress party soon. This development has been confirmed amid the Congress’ campaign to attract and include youth leaders into their alliance, at a time when the party is facing huge internal squabbles.
Kanhaiya Kumar is best known for his oratory skills and is looked up to by some youths, as a champion of hope. He was formerly the students’ union president at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and was the Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate from Begusarai, Bihar for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Though he lost the election to his electoral opponent, Giriraj Singh, he has never looked back since then and appears to have become stronger and more vocal. Kumar, who was jailed by the Modi government for his alleged anti-India sloganeering at JNU, has a huge following among youths all over the country. He enjoys the support of millions on social media as well.
Like Kumar, Jignesh Mevani also started young in Gujarat. He is a MLA from Gujarat’s Vadgam constituency and is known for his strong anti-BJP-RSS stand, with a huge fan base on social media. He was the face of the Una Dalit uprising and won the last assembly poll in Gujarat as an independent candidate. However, he enjoyed the Congress’ backing then too. His entry into the Congress unit of Gujarat will certainly help the party gather the support of masses in order to change the status-quo of Gujarat’s politics, which has largely been run by the BJP for the last two decades.
At a time when the Congress party has been facing huge internal squabbles and some leaders quitting the party to join rival parties, this development seems to be an attempt at rejuvenating the grand old party ahead of the crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab next year.
Apart from that, Kumar’s entry into the Congress can certainly make Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejasvi Yadav anxious. It will be interesting to see whether Kumar, who shares a good bond with Yadav, will be welcomed into Bihar’s political arena as an opponent of the RJD.
The current development highlights the Congress party’s attempts to bring new life into the old blood by including leaders who are not only educated and exceptional orators but also enjoy a huge fan base amongst the youth of the country. This could prove beneficial for the party in terms of electoral calculations. Ahead of the various state assembly elections in 2022 and the Lok Sabha election in 2024, the inclusion of two young left-leaning leaders into the Congress could certainly have a positive impact if used wisely.