Congress names Kanhaiya Kumar as LS candidate; SC to hear Kejriwal’s plea | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Congress names Kanhaiya Kumar as LS candidate; SC to hear Kejriwal’s plea

Apr 15, 2024 09:30 AM IST

Kanhaiya Kumar contested the 2019 national polls from Bihar’s Begusarai but lost to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Giriraj Singh

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has produced many political leaders. No alumnus of the prestigious university has perhaps had a meteoric rise lately as Kanhaiya Kumar even as his critics have associated him with “tukde tukde gang”, a term used for alleged supporters of secessionism.

Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar. (PTI)
Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar. (PTI)

In the usually regimented Communist Party of India, he became a national face and contested the 2019 national polls from Bihar’s Begusarai but lost to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Giriraj Singh. Kumar joined the Congress in 2021. He quickly rose to become a Congress national spokesperson and the in-charge of the party’s student wing, the National Students’ Union of India.

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On Sunday, the Congress named Kumar as its Lok Sabha candidate from North East Delhi, one of the three seats it is contesting in the Capital in alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Congress is believed to have been keen on fielding Kumar from Begusarai. Kumar’s candidature in Delhi became certain after state Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely told the party Central Election Committee on April 5 that he was not keen on contesting the Lok Sabha polls, a party leader said. Former member of Parliament (MP) Sandeep Dikshit was another contender. Kumar had the backing of at least two key leaders including communications chief Jairam Ramesh, said the Congress leader, requesting anonymity. JP Agarwal (Chandni Chowk) and Udit Raj (North West Delhi) are the two other Congress candidates in the Capital.

Congress names six Punjab candidates

In Punjab, the Congress on Sunday named six Lok Sabha candidates, including former chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi. The Congress renominated Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib MPs Gurjeet Singh Aujla and Amar Singh. Former four-term Akali Dal assembly member Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu is the party’s candidate from Bhatinda. Punjab assembly member Sukhpal Singh Khaira has been fielded from Sangrur. Former AAP MP Dharamvir Gandhi has been named as the Congress’s candidate from Patiala. He is contesting against MP Prineet Kaur, who defected to the BJP from Congress. The ruling AAP and the Congress are contesting separately in Punjab.

SC to hear Kejriwal’s plea

The Supreme Court will on Monday hear Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea against a Delhi high court order dismissing his petition against his arrest and subsequent remand in connection with the now-scrapped 2021-22 Delhi excise policy case. The high court said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had sufficient material to justify the arrest. It said the arrest was an “inevitable consequence of his non-cooperation” with the ED, which summoned Kejriwal nine times in the case, but he did not appear before it.

Mayawati’s appeal to Muslims

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Sunday promised “concrete steps” to make western Uttar Pradesh a separate state if the party is voted to power. She appealed to Muslims against splitting their votes, saying if they split, and go to the Congress, then the BJP would get the benefit as she launched the BSP’s poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur. Mayawati said if free and fair elections are held and voting machines are not tampered with, the BJP will not return to power.

TMC versus IT department

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday claimed the income tax (IT) department raided party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee’s helicopter. IT department, however, maintained a team was sent in “a routine manner” to collect information of the arrival of the helicopter in Malda to fulfil the mandate of coordinating with law enforcement agencies to ensure free and fair elections.

TMC claimed the helicopter was raided as part of a deliberate BJP ploy to harass and intimidate opposition candidates whom they cannot engage with politically. In a post on X, the party said the chopper was undergoing a trial run when a team of IT officials arrived and “extensively” searched it

Division in anti-DMK vote?

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has been in power in Tamil Nadu for three years. Despite anti-incumbency in some regions of the state, it is expected to do well in the Lok Sabha elections. Political experts say a divided opposition means that the anti-DMK votes are expected to split between the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the BJP.

A section of voters in southern Tamil Nadu said that their primary issues against the ruling state government were “lack of government jobs and price rise”. It may not affect the DMK in the national elections, but the party was expected to face a tough fight in the 2026 assembly elections.

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