CPI nominee Kanhaiya Kumar heckled over earlier anti-India remarks
Kanhaiya, then the president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU), was in the eye of a storm over the controversial remark, as the government pressed sedition charges against him in 2016.Updated: Apr 17, 2019 22:03 IST
CPI candidate from Begusarai, Kanhaiya Kumar, was heckled by villagers during his road show at Ram Deri Tola, a village dominated by Bhumihars, about 5 km away from the district headquarters of Begusarai on Tuesday evening.
As Kanhaiya moved in a red SUV with a sunroof, sporting a red checked shirt with patch pockets and marigold garlands around his neck, a motley group of young men accosted him about his purported anti-India remark — “Bharat tere tukde-tukde honge, Inshah Allah, Inshah Allah” (India will be divided ..Inshah Allah, Inshah Allah).
Kanhaiya, then the president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU), was in the eye of a storm over the alleged controversial remark, as the government pressed sedition charges against him in 2016.
The bearded youth fired quick salvos by asking Kanhaiya why he opposed the 10% reservation for the forward castes and why he did not protest when the Nitish Kumar-led government in Bihar had rained lathis (batons) on Bhumihars, an upper caste, supporting reservation.
Kanhaiya, clearly caught off-guard appeared to be at a loss for words as he was heard asking the youth in local dialect, “Bhajapa ke hau (Are you a BJP supporter)?” The video, which shows Kanhaiya mumbling and gesticulating at the belligerent youth to come near his car, has now gone viral on social media.
The CPI was quick to dismiss the protest by calling it the handiwork of the BJP.“There is nothing to read into the protest. It was an isolated, one-off incident, orchestrated by three youths who were supporters of the BJP. Please don’t go by what some TV channels are airing. Kanhaiya has huge support wherever he goes in Begusarai. Even today, there are 5,000 to 6,000 people following him as he campaigns at Baghwara,” said SN Azad of the CPI, who is coordinating Kanhaiya’s campaign from the district party headquarters.
The BJP, however, said that Kanhaiya has had to face stiff opposition wherever he went to solicit support in Begusarai for his past utterances as JNUSU president.
“Kanhaiya has an anti-national image; someone also averse to social justice. As JNUSU leader, he never supported any proposal in favour of SC, ST or the backwards. He was mired in controversy over his pro-Kashmir and pro-Pakistan slogans on the JNU campus. In Begusarai, he has had to face stiff opposition everywhere over his past utterances as JNUSU president. He will stand exposed on May 23 when the results of the 17th Lok Sabha elections are announced,” said Nikhil Anand, state spokesperson of the BJP.
Begusarai witnesses a triangular contest among central minister Giriraj Singh of the BJP, Tanveer Hassan of the RJD and Kanhaiya Kumar. It goes to polls in the fourth phase on April 29.
First Published: Apr 17, 2019 22:02 IST