As Congress Veers to the Left With Kanhaiya Kumar’s Entry, Insiders Urge Course Correction to the Centre


Former JNU college students’ union president and CPI chief Kanhaiya Kumar is the most recent in a protracted line of Left leaders to both be part of the Congress or type a robust affiliation with the get together.

In truth, two-time Bihar MLA Shakeel Ahmed and Congress whip within the Rajya Sabha Naseer Hussain are JNU alumni and had been related to Leftist politics whereas there. Among newer examples, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s aide Sandeep Singh and possible UP election candidate Mohit Dubey had been additionally with Left events at JNU.

Kanhaiya Kumar will be part of his college colleagues within the Congress on Tuesday, together with Independent Vadgam MLA and Dalit chief Jignesh Mevani.

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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 inclination every so often up to now, significantly 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.

In truth, it was Indira Gandhi’s Leftist leanings that helped her engineer a break 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 she or he switched to the trail of modernisation, one thing which her son and future PM Rajiv Gandhi firmly believed in.

Indira’s successors from the Congress — Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, had 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.

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It got here as a shock to many when Sonia Gandhi displayed a few of her mother-in-law Leftist inclination, and crammed the nationwide advisory council (NAC) with those that ascribed to the Leftist ideology like Aruna Ali and Jean Dietrich. The NAC framed tips that had been typically 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 snug with the meals invoice as he feared it may change into a drain on the economic system when funds had been briefly provide.

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

Rahul Gandhi can be recognized to take recommendation from CPM chief Sitaram Yechury and DU professor Apoorvanand. Those 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 would assist him mission the narrative that whereas the Congress is with the aam aadmi, the BJP is a “suit-boot ki party”.

“Kanhaiya Kumar can no longer be associated with the Left of JNU. He is an aggressive Hindi-speaking heartland politician which will help us,” a senior Congress chief near Rahul Gandhi stated.

But Kanhaiya Kumar’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 Speculation abounds about certain Communist leaders joining @INCIndia it perhaps may be instructive to revisit a 1973 book ‘Communists in Congress’ Kumarmanglam Thesis. The more things change the more they perhaps remain the same (sic),” he stated.

Many in Kerala Congress, too, are uncomfortable with the induction of Left leaders. “We have our own people. We have our own ideology. When these Left leaders join us, they don’t shed their ideologies. They only bring them and add it to ours. This makes us look more and more 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.

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