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Kanhaiya Kumar becoming a member of Congress continues get together’s tilt to the Left; insiders counsel centrist path


The Congress get together has proven Leftist inclinations every now and then prior to now, notably throughout the tenure of Indira Gandhi as prime minister

File picture of Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

Former JNU college students’ union president and CPI chief Kanhaiya Kumar is the newest in a protracted line of Left leaders to both be a part of the Congress or type a powerful affiliation with the get together. The truth is, two-time Bihar MLA Shakeel Ahmed and Congress whip within the Rajya Sabha Naseer Hussain are JNU alumni and have been related to Leftist politics whereas there.

Amongst newer examples, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s aide Sandeep Singh and possible UP election candidate Mohit Dubey have been additionally with Left events at JNU.

Kanhaiya Kumar will be a part of his college colleagues within the Congress on Tuesday, together with Unbiased Vadgam MLA and Dalit chief Jignesh Mevani. The newest additions have led political observers to ponder whether or not the Congress is abandoning its decades-old centrist place and tilting to the Left.

The get together has proven Leftist inclinations every now and then prior to now, notably throughout the tenure of Indira Gandhi as prime minister. Indira’s bent in direction of the Soviet Union mannequin was believed to have slowed India’s march in direction of liberalisation.

The truth is, it was Indira Gandhi’s Leftist leanings that helped her engineer a cut up inside the Congress and strengthen her grip on the brand new Congress. Slogans like ‘garibi hatao’ helped revive her and the get together’s fortunes within the 1971 elections. By her second stint in workplace, the pitfalls of following a Leftist line in her financial insurance policies dawned on her and he or she switched to the trail of modernisation, one thing which her son and future prime minister Rajiv Gandhi firmly believed in.

Indira’s successors from the Congress — Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, have been by no means admirers of the Left. They felt that any Left leanings would hurt the nation, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, time had come to tread the centrist path.

It got here as a shock to many when Sonia Gandhi displayed a few of her mother-in-law’s Leftist inclinations, and stuffed the nationwide advisory council (NAC) with those that ascribed to the Leftist ideology like Aruna Ali and Jean Dietrich. The NAC framed tips that have been usually foisted on the Manmohan Singh authorities such because the farm mortgage waiver, meals invoice and NREGA.

This ideological tussle between the get together and the federal government led to awkward moments. Sources say Manmohan Singh was not too comfy with the meals invoice as he feared it might change into a drain on the economic system when funds have been briefly provide.

However Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi are choosing up their mom’s path. Sandeep Singh, who was as soon as related to the scholar wing of the CPI(ML), is Priyanka’s political secretary. Again in 2005, he was amongst those that waved black flags at Singh over his authorities’s insurance policies. He tendered an apology for a similar when he give up the CPI(ML)-backed All India College students Affiliation and joined the Congress.

Rahul Gandhi can also be recognized to take recommendation from CPM chief Sitaram Yechury and DU professor Apoorvanand. These near Rahul say his appreciation of those leaders stems from his perception that the Left ideology is the one one that may join his get together to the downtrodden. This is able to assist him mission the narrative that whereas the Congress is with the aam aadmi, the BJP is a “suit-boot ki sarkar”.

“Kanhaiya Kumar can not be related to the Left of JNU. He’s an aggressive Hindi-speaking heartland politician which is able to assist us,” a senior Congress chief near Rahul Gandhi mentioned.

However Kanhaiya’s entry into the get together has already led to controversy, with some fearing his baggage of controversies at JNU would drag the get together down. First to go vocal is Manish Tewari who tweeted with out naming Kanhaiya Kumar. “As hypothesis abounds about sure Communist leaders becoming a member of @INCIndia it maybe could also be instructive to revisit a 1973 guide ‘Communists in Congress’ Kumarmanglam Thesis. The extra issues change the extra they maybe stay the identical (sic),” he mentioned.

Many in Kerala Congress, too, are uncomfortable with the induction of Left leaders. “We now have our personal individuals. We now have our personal ideology. When these Left leaders be a part of us, they don’t shed their ideologies. They solely deliver them and add it to ours. This makes us look an increasing number of Left,” a Congress chief from the state informed News18.

With the BJP and different political events pushing for liberalisation and centrist pondering, it stays to be seen whether or not the Left-tilt will repay for the Congress.

Pallavi Ghosh has lined politics and Parliament for 15 years, and has reported extensively on Congress, UPA-I and UPA-II, and has now included the Finance Ministry and Niti Aayog in her reportage. She has additionally solely interviewed Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

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