The rift in the Janata Dal (United) widened on Tuesday (January 28) with party vice president Prashant Kishor firing a salvo at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Responding to Kumar’s remark that he was inducted in the party at the instance of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Kishor taunted him asking, “Who would believe that you (Nitish) still have courage not to listen to someone recommended by Shah.”
.@NitishKumar what a fall for you to lie about how and why you made me join JDU!! Poor attempt on your part to try and make my colour same as yours!
And if you are telling the truth who would believe that you still have courage not to listen to someone recommended by @AmitShah?
— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) January 28, 2020
The bitter engage of words follows Kishor’s vociferous opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Kumar’s remark came on being asked about Kishor’s stance on the citizenship law and his collaboration with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“One can stay in the party till he wants. Or he can go if he wants,” Kumar had said earlier in the day, prompting his number two to immediately reply, “Nitish Ji has spoken, you should wait for my answer. I will come to Bihar to answer him.” Later, he came with an elaborate reply on Twitter itself.
Addressing the JD(U) chief in a tweet, Kishor said, “What a fall for you to lie about how and why you made me join JDU!! Poor attempt on your part to try and make my colour same as yours! And if you are telling the truth who would believe that you still have courage not to listen to someone recommended by Amit Shah?”
The chief minister’s statement came as a surprise since he was being seen so far as someone trying to shield Kumar. However, with Kishor striking back, it could possibly mean there’s something very wrong between the two leaders who were seen as close aides in the ruling party.
Kishor has been rankling the BJP for quite some time, questioning his own party’s decision to support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament and insisting that the JD(U) contest a significantly higher number of seats than the saffron party in the assembly polls in Bihar due later this year.
Besides Kishor, the party’s national general secretary Pavan Varma too had criticised the amended citizenship law and even wrote an open letter to the chief minister, seeking to remind him of his opinion of the BJP that he had allegedly told him in private. The chief minister delivered the same message for Varma that he did for Kishor.
(With inputs from agencies)