Jawaharlal Nehru University students union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, who walked out of Tihar on bail last week, on Wednesday indicated that he is unlikely to campaign in the upcoming West Bengal and Kerala Assembly polls.
“I have already said that mainstream politics is not my calling. I am a student and want to be a teacher after I finish my PhD. However, I will continue with activism even then.”
“Two of my friends are still in jail, we have raised whole lot of issues ranging from Rohith Vemula case and now the Allahabad University row. There is so much to do for the students that it is unlikely for me to take that much time to travel for campaigning,” he told PTI.
CPI(M) general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, had said that Mr. Kumar would be campaigning for the Left parties in the Assembly polls. However, he later stated that Mr. Kumar will not travel to Kerala and Bengal to campaign, citing the bail and other issues involved in making him poll campaigner.
The 29-year-old JNU research scholar also hit back at Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who had said Mr. Kumar was enjoying free publicity after his release from jail.
“Naidu said that I and other JNU students are enjoying the publicity and should rather go study. I want to tell him what we are doing is activism but what his government is doing is politics. Does he know the difference between the two? He should know this before making such comments,” he said.
Mr. Kumar also said that Mr. Naidu’s statement was “ironical” as he had also started his career in politics as an ABVP student leader in 1973 after being elected as the students’ union president of Andhra University Colleges.