Kanhaiya Kumar, a CPI leader and former JNU Students Union president, met Rahul Gandhi, ostensibly to lay the groundwork for his entry into the Indian National Congress, which has seen many young leaders leave in the last two years.
Kumar, according to the Indian Express, was feeling suffocated in the CPI. On Tuesday, he met Gandhi, and the two are said to have discussed his entry into the Congress.
CPI general secretary D Raja has said that he has only heard speculation in this regard. "I can only say that he was present at the national executive meeting of our party earlier this month. He spoke and participated in the deliberations," Raja was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani too is in touch with the Congress leadership and is expected to join the party.
According to the Indian Express report, Congress sources said that the party believes that the entry of Kumar and Mevani will give it a boost, at least optics wise, since one of the narratives regarding the party in the past two years has been of young leaders – among them Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sushmita Dev, Jitin Prasada and Priyanka Chaturvedi – leaving the party.
Kanhiya Kumar might be used to campaign for the party in the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming assembly elections.