Kanhaiya, LJP MP meet JDU leaders; fuel speculation
- Kanhaiya’s meeting with the JD(U) leader comes at a time when the former JNU leader is facing heat from the party.
Political circle in Bihar was left speculating after the meeting of former JNU president and CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar with JD(U) minister Ashok Choudhary on Monday. Another meeting on late Sunday evening between chief minister Nitish Kumar and LJP MP from Nawada, Chandan Singh, led to another round of exchange of words between JD(U) and the LJP leaders.
Choudhary, a close aide of CM Kumar, had been instrumental recently in enlisting the support of the sole BSP MLA Zama Khan and independent legislator Sumit Singh, both of whom were inducted into the cabinet last week. He had also caused anxieties in the LJP after his meeting with its sole MLA Raj Kumar Singh to his residence for a book launch function a few weeks back.
Kanhaiya’s meeting with the JD(U) leader comes at a time when the former JNU leader is facing heat from the party after a censure motion was passed by his party at the national committee meeting at Hyderabad following alleged manhandling of a key CPI official attached to the state headquarters in Patna by him and his supporters.
If CPI sources are to be believed, there had been tensions between the former JNU president and his party during the Lok Sabha elections when the CPI reportedly insisted that he shared a part of the money he had raised through crowdfunding.
Though Kanhaiya was not available for comments, Choudhary denied that it was a political meeting. “People from different parties keep meeting for development related works. Nothing is cooking,” he said.
Sources close to Kanhaiya insisted that it was a “non-political” meeting and that both have known each other for long. The meeting, however, was not liked by JD(U) alliance partner, the BJP.
Subhash Singh, state minister from the BJP quota, called the former JNUSU president a lunatic and said his meeting with a senior leader of an alliance partner was not appropriate. JD (U) spokesperson Ajay Alok said, “Kanhaiya is welcome into our party if he chooses to give up his perverse (vikrit) ideology".
Kanhaiya is also understood to have been disappointed with his party’s decision to side with the RJD, which had queered the pitch for him in the Lok Sabha polls by fielding its candidate and acknowledge Tejashwi Yadav as the undisputed leader of the five-party Grand Alliance.
Leaders in the NDA, on condition of anonymity, said they feel this is another try by the JD(U) to raise its stock after its unsatisfactory performance in the assembly elections.
Meeting with LJP MP
Another meeting which evoked keen interest was the meeting of Nawada LJP MP Chandan Singh with the CM late on Sunday evening. The meeting between the MP and the CM gave a chance to the JD(U) to attack the LJP, which had been questioning the development in Bihar.
“Chirag Paswan has been alleging that his constituency of Jamui has been neglected and there has been no progress in Bihar at all. The meeting between his party MP and the chief minister is a rebuff to his brand of politics the CM believes in,” said JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad.
The LJP sought to downplay the significance of the meeting. “Our respected MP must have met the chief minister concerning development works in his constituency. We wonder what is there to be so excited about,” LJP spokesman Ashraf Ansari said in a video statement.
Paswan’s party had fielded candidates against all JD(U) nominees, which affected the performance of the ruling party in many seats. The LJP has six MPs in Lok Sabha from Bihar.