Kanhaiya Kumar, the leader of All India Students Federation, who is charged with sedition and is out on bail currently, has become the poster boy of Congress’ outdoor campaign in poll-bound Assam.
In Guwahati, Congress has put up huge hoardings depicting the president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union in jail.
This is surprising as Left parties, which are contesting around 59 seats in Assam, are also in touch with Kumar to campaign for them in the state.
According to Suprakash Talukdar, state secretariat member of CPM, the party has got in touch with Kanahiya, and he is likely to campaign for Left parties in Assam. It is good that Congress stood by Kanahiya and is using his picture to depict the NDA government’s high handedness.
On March 15, Kumar led an ‘azaadi’ march of JNU students from Mandi House to Parliament Street demanding release of two varsity students – Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya – and resignation of Union Minister Smriti Irani.
“She calls us her children, but has she ever spoken to my mother or Rohith Vemula’s mother? I refused to be called her child. We demand that she should resign for the way academic institutions are being attacked,” Kanhaiya said while addressing a gathering at Parliament Street.
“This march is not to save one Umar or Kanhaiya, it is for democracy and social justice. When dictatorship comes to a country, education institutions are affected first. If you talk in favour of JNU and education, you are talking about making sense,” he said.
Kumar, however, avoided talking about JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who are in judicial custody on sedition charges.