Two days after JDU leader Pavan Varma stoked a controversy by writing a letter to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar asking him to reconsider his decision on CAA and NRC, the JDU chief said his colleague is free to leave the party and join any other party he likes.
Speaking to the media regarding the Pavan Verma’s letter to him on the issue of CAA and NRC, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said, “If anyone has any issues then the person can discuss it within the party or at party meetings, but such kind of public statements are surprising. He can go and join any party he likes, he has my best wishes.”
#WATCH Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on JDU leader Pawan Verma’s letter to him on CAA&NRC: If anyone has any issues then the person can discuss it within party or at party meetings, but such kind of public statements are surprising. He can go and join any party he likes, my best wishes. pic.twitter.com/qFXgVSWfKu
— ANI (@ANI) January 23, 2020
The strong response by Nitish Kumar to Pavan Verma comes after senior party leader Verma had stoked a controversy by writing a letter to party chief Nitish Kumar on the issue of CAA and also over tie-up in Delhi with the BJP while saying public actions need to match with personal views and that there is no room for double standards.
Pavan Varma had asked how did Nitish Kumar take a decision to extend the alliance with the BJP when his personal views are different.
In his letter, Pavan Varma had claimed that despite Nitish Kumar’s alliance with the BJP in 2017, his “private apprehensions” regarding the party and how it was leading India into a “dangerous space” did not change.
“I remember your confessing to me in private how the current leadership in the BJP party has humiliated you. You maintained, on more than one occasion, that the BJP is leading India into a ‘dangerous space’,” the former Rajya Sabha member and JD(U) general secretary wrote.
Further, Verma in his letter claimed that he had once told Nitish Kumar that in his party constitution, the word secular comes three times and Bihar CM needs to respect that and especially at a time when the entire country is against the CAA.
“If the party doesn’t stand by the principles of its own party, our position within the party becomes untenable,” the JD(U) leader added as he asked Nitish Kumar to reconsider the alliance with the BJP over the issue of CAA.
Varma had also claimed as long as Prashant Kishor and he was in the party, their attempt will be to get Nitish Kumar on the right path and had threatened by saying that all options were open, leaving Nitish Kumar red-faced.
Reacting to Nitish Kumar’s statements, Verma on Thursday claimed that hurting Nitish Kumar was never his intention. He said he just wanted the party to have ideological clarity. He added that he was awaiting a reply to his letter and will decide the future course of action after that.
Pawan Verma, JDU:Welcome Mr.Nitsh Kumar’s statement that there is space for discussion within party, as that is what I asked for.Was never my intention to hurt him. I want party to have ideological clarity.Awaiting reply to my letter,will decide future course of action after that https://t.co/IMJvNU0W01 pic.twitter.com/KQdL9c8HGP
— ANI (@ANI) January 23, 2020
Ever since the historic Citizenship Amendment Act was passed in the parliament, senior leader Pavan Verma and JDU national vice-president Prashant Kishor have been acting like a loose cannon, which is often reflected in their contrarian position on the issue of the CAA with respect to that of the JDU and its chief Nitish Kumar.
Senior leaders like Prashant Kishor and Pavan Verma have been opposing the legislation, claiming that act is unconstitutional. The two JD (U) leaders had publicly urged Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to reconsider the decision to support the CAA keeping in mind the public sentiments.
Unhappy over the comments made by Prashant Kishor and Pavan Verma over the issue of party’s support to CAA, the JDU had also sent notices to both leaders for opposing party’s decision to support the act.
Initially, the JDU was hesitant to support the NDA over the Citizenship Amendment Bill but Nitish Kumar-led JDU had decided to support the bill just a day before it was tabled in the Parliament by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.