Sangam city has produced great politicians but Kalyan Chand Mohile aka Chhunnan Guru was one leader who gave tough time to even stalwarts like Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.
Chhunnan Guru was so popular that even the country’s first Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, another great leader from Allahabad, once said that while he was the leader of India, Guru was the leader of Allahabad.
For the records, Chhunnan Guru was elected MLA from Allahabad City South constituency as a candidate of Praja Socialist Party of India for four consecutive terms in 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967.
The respect he commanded from the electorate can be gauged from the fact that after the defeat of its candidate, Vishambhar Nath, at the hands of Chhunnan Guru in 1952, the Congress appointed none other than Indira Gandhi as the president of Allahabad City Congress to ensure the victory of party candidate Baijnath Kapoor in 1957.
Young and energetic Indira worked really hard but could not change the result. Guru secured 21,600 votes while Kapoor polled 19,584 votes. “After Kapoor’s defeat, Indira was called back to Delhi,” Vimal Chand Mohile aka Beenu Guru, the 76-year-old son of Chhunnan Guru, told HT.
In 1962, Nehru came to Allahabad to meet a senior Congress leader, who was unwell at the time. He even visited areas close to many polling booths but the Congress candidate, Baijnath Kapoor, lost to Guru once again.
Guru secured 20,491 votes as compared to Kapoor’s 18,600, recalled Beenu Guru, who resides in Malaviya Nagar here.
In 1967, the Congress fielded workers’ leader RC Vaish. This time even the workers-dominated area of Naini was made part of Allahabad South assembly segment. But Chhunnan Guru, an ardent fan of socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia, was again elected. Guru defeated Vaish by a huge margin of 68,000 votes.
Such was Chhunnan Guru’s humility that after every poll victory, he would pay to visit New Delhi and meet Nehru to seek his blessings which the India’s first PM readily gave to this leader of the people. Chhunnan Guru fell ill on October 12, 1968, when he returned home after paying tribute to Lohia on his first death anniversary. He died after suffering a brain haemorrhage on October 14, 1968, at the age of 67.