By M I Khan
Patna, March 29, 2019: Kanhaiya Kumar, former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University students union, has created history collecting 4 million rupees in crowdfunding in just 40 hours for election expenses.
Kumar of the Communist Party of India is the joint candidate of the Left parties’ from Begusarai in Bihar.
“Like one-one drop of water fills earthen pots and one-one brick helps to construct a house, donation of 1 rupee to my campaign fund will help me fight to take the voices of marginalised and exploited people to Parliament,” the 32-year-old had said while launching the crowdfunding drive on March 26.
Kumar a leader of the All India Students Federation (AISF), a left wing students organization considered to close the Communist Party of India.
CPI leader Sushil Kumar, who is close to Kumar, said they have collected 4 million rupees in just 40 hours of the launch.
The campaign, launched in partnership with OurDemocracy, a crowdfunding platform, aims at collecting 7 million rupees.
The Election Commission of India has put 7 million rupees as the upper limit expense for each Lok Sabha constituency in bigger states and 5.4 million in smaller states.
“In a country where a farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes, where unemployment is casting its darkest shadow in 45 years and the unemployed are deluded into a constructed binary of Hindu-Muslim conflict, it is now incumbent upon the common people to rise up and save democracy,” Kumar said in his crowdfunding appeal.
At the local level in Begusarai, Kumar appealed to citizens to donate at least 1 rupee for his campaign fund. “Please help me by one vote and one-rupee note,” he appealed.
Kumar is the Left parties’ joint candidate to take on federal minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Giriraj Singh in Begusarai, a constituency with a sizeable population of the land-owning powerful Bhumihar upper caste.
Both Singh and Kumar are Bhumihars, but with a difference. Kumar hails from a poor family, his mother is an anganwadi worker in his native village Bihat in Begusarai.
Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani, who arrived in Begusarai to meet Kumar, says Hardik Patel and he will campaign for Kanhaiya. Dozens of activists have already joined Kuar in his election campaign.
Besides, actress Shabana Azmi and her husband Javed Akhtar, the celebrated writer and poet, are likely to campaign for Kanhaiya in Begusarai.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandan, which will also contest the Begusarai seat, has not named its candidate yet.