Shabana, Javed Akhtar to campaign for Kanhaiya in Bihar

Shabana, Javed Akhtar to campaign for Kanhaiya in Bihar

Kanhaiya is scheduled to launch the party’s anti-BJP campaign on Tuesday

A day before former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar is slated to formally launch a campaign against the BJP in Bihar, the CPI got a shot in the arm when veteran actress Shabana Azmi and her husband Javed Akhtar volunteered to canvass for the young leader.

Kanhaiya, who is all set to make his Lok Sabha debut from Bihar where he will contest from Begusarai parliamentary constituency as the CPI nominee in 2019, is scheduled to launch the party’s anti-BJP campaign on Tuesday.

The fortnight-long campaign will culminate in a massive rally – ‘BJP Harao, Desh Bachao’ – organised by the Left Front in Patna on October 25.

Kanhaiya, who is yet to be declared the official CPI candidate from Begusarai, has opted for this constituency as this town is not only his birthplace but is also called the "Leningrad of Bihar" – where the Left is still a force to reckon with.

At present, Begusarai is represented by BJP’s Bhola Singh, but the saffron camp may deny him the Lok Sabha ticket in 2019 and instead field someone who could give the debutant Kanhaiya a run for his money.

Apart from Shabana and Akhtar, both of whom were earlier Rajya Sabha members as well, actor-turned-activist from South Prakash Raj may also campaign for Kanhaiya.

“Rebel BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, too, has said that if the CPI would invite him, he would like to canvass for the firebrand student leader (Kanhaiya),” said CPI state secretary Satya Narayan Singh.

Meanwhile, the CPI, which is likely to be part of the 'Mahagatbandhan' in Bihar and will contest in alliance with the RJD and the Congress, has decided to invite Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the October 25 rally in Patna.

“We have invited Rahul Gandhi, Tejashwi Yadav, Sharad Yadav and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi for the ‘Defeat BJP, Save Country’ rally on October 25. The Left leaders from the CPI, CPM and the CPI-ML, including Sudhakar Reddy, Sitaram Yechury and Dipankar Bhattacharya, will also address the Patna rally,” said CPI national secretary K Narayana.