Will Bollywood's big faces help Kanhaiya Kumar win and make history in Begusarai?
New Delhi, Apr 30: One of the most closely watched battles in India is Bihar's Begusarai where Kanhaiya Kumar, a former president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU), is challenging Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s dominance in the Lok Sabha constituency. While the BJP has decided to field Union Minister Giriraj Singh against Kanhaiya Kumar, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has decided to go with Tanveer Hassan.
Singh is a controversial leader known for his vocal championship of Hindutva politics. Tanveer Hassan, on the other hand, has hardly made his presence felt so far.
Meanwhile, Kanhaiya Kumar who recently joined politics has received the support of many Bollywood stars.
Many top celebrities from Bollywood like actors Prakash Raj, Swara Bhaskar, Shabana Azami and lyricist Javed Akhtar, all vocal critics of the Modi government have campaigned for Kumar and has strengthened the perception that he poses a better challenge to the BJP.
Not only this, his popularity can also be estimated by the fact that he raised at least Rs 70 lakh through crowdfunding for the Lok Sabha elections.
With these big names campaigning for Kumar, it will be interesting to see if the red flag will fly high in Begusarai.
However, it can be recalled that in the 2014 polls, BJP's Bhola Singh, who died in October last year, had defeated Lalu Prasad-led RJD's Tanveer Hasan, who is again in the fray, with a margin of 5.4 per cent votes (more than 58,000). The Janata Dal-United (JD-U)-backed Communist Party of India (CPI) had finished a distant third with near 93,000 votes. Singh had got over 4.29 lakh votes.
Since the constituency came into existence in 1952, the CPI has won it only once in 1967 while the RJD won it in 1999. In 2004, it was won by Surajbhan Singh of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) while JD(U)'s Monazir Hassan won in 2009.
Begusarai Lok Sabha constituency comprises seven Vidhan Sabha segments: Cheria Bariarpur, Bachhwara, Teghra, Matihani, Sahebpur Kamal, Begusarai and Bakhri.
The results of the Lok Sabha election 2019 will be declared on May 23.