Kanhaiya meets Nitish aide, sets tongues wagging in NDA
Patna: Many eyebrows were raised in Bihar on Monday as news broke of a meeting between CPI's rising star Kanhaiya Kumar and Ashok Choudhary, a minister and key aide of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
A fiery former JNU student leader, who has of late is being seen as veering towards Nitish Kumar despite their parties rarely getting on the same page on most issues, Kanhaiya met Choudhary on Sunday.
Choudhary had headed the state unit of the JD(U) during the assembly elections and played an instrumental role recently in enlisting the support of the sole BSP MLA Zama Khan and independent legislator Sumit Singh, both of whom were inducted into the cabinet last week.
He had also caused jitters in the LJP, an ally turned adversary, by inviting its sole MLA Raj Kumar Singh to his residence for a book launch function a few weeks back.
Choudhary's meeting with Kanhaiya, a staunch communist, came at a time when the charismatic young politician is said to have been left mortified by a censure motion that the CPI recently passed against him. The party action had followed alleged manhandling of a key CPI official attached to the state headquarters here.
Earlier, there had been tensions between the aspiring leader and his party during the Lok Sabha elections when the CPI reportedly insisted that he share a part of money he had raised through crowd-funding.
Kanhaiya had fought from his home constituency Begusarai, where he lost to Union minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh by a massive margin.
Nonetheless, the contest had created a lot of buzz and brought many celebrities from far-off places to the dusty town in support of the young leader who has been slapped with a sedition case for allegedly raising anti-national slogans at JNU.
Sources close to Kanhaiya as well as Choudhary insisted that it was a "non-political" meeting and that both have known each other for long.