JD(U) split over Citizenship Amendment Bill, seniors seek re-look
JDU party spokesperson Pawan K Varma appealed to JD (U) national president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to have a “re-look” at the decisionUpdated: Dec 11, 2019 02:05 IST
The passage of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Lok Sabha and support extended to it has left the ruling Janata Dal (United) a divided house in Bihar.
After JD (U) national vice-president Prashant Kishor on Monday expressed disappointment over his party supporting the CAB in the Lok Sabha, holding that the legislation discriminates against people “on the basis of religion”, party spokesperson Pawan K Varma appealed to JD (U) national president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to have a “re-look” at the decision.
“I urge Shri Nitish Kumar to reconsider support to the #CAB in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and against the unity and harmony of the country, apart from being against the secular principles of the JDU. Gandhiji would have strongly disapproved it,” tweeted Varma on Tuesday.
The JD (U) has 16 MPs in Lok Sabha and 6 MPs in Rajya Sabha.
On Monday, Kishor sought to underscore that the Bill was “incongruous” with the constitution of the party, headed by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, which swore by secularism and Gandhian ideals. “Disappointed to see JDU supporting #CAB that discriminates right of citizenship on the basis of religion. It’s incongruous with the party’s constitution that carries the word secular thrice on the very first page and the leadership that is supposedly guided by Gandhian ideals,” he tweeted.
However, the JD (U) MPs, led by Munger parliamentarian Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh, said on the floor of the House that the JD (U) was supporting the legislation since it was “not against secularism”.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a JD(U) leader said there is no rethinking on the issue and that the party will vote for supporting the government. “The party has said it will support the bill and will vote with the government in the Rajya Sabha as well. There is nothing in the provisions of the bill that targets Muslims or is against secularism,” a senior JDU leader said. On the comments of his colleagues calling for a rethink, he said the party led by Kumar has not deviated from its secular ideology.
“They have changed their course not once but thrice. Be it the case of triple talaq, 370 and now on CAB, they did the same. They are creating illusion in the minds of people, the voters. The JD (U) show that they are opposed to BJP on issues, but when the time comes, they either walk out of voting or support them,” said D M Diwakar, a political analyst of A N Sinha Institute for Social Studies.
(Smriti Kak Ramachandran in New Delhi contributed to this story)