JDU orders its leaders to fall in line on CAB, Prashant Kishor steps over it
The two JD (U) leaders found support from party MLC Gulam Rasool Balyawi, who also urged party national president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to reconsider the decision to support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in the Lok Sabha, keeping in mind the public sentiments.Updated: Dec 11, 2019 18:07 IST
As the voices of dissent continue to rise in ruling JD (U) over the party’s support to Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), party’s state president and Rajya Sabha MP Bashistha Narain Singh has advised leaders to exercise restraint while airing their views. “Our is a democratic set up. I will ask all leaders to keep their views on party forum and not toe a line which is different from the party’s official stand,” Singh said on Wednesday.
Singh’s advisory comes a day after two of the party’s office-bearers, national vice – president Prashant Kishor and national spokesperson Pavan K Verma -- came out in the open against their party’s stand on the Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The two JD (U) leaders found support from party MLC Gulam Rasool Balyawi, who also urged party national president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to reconsider the decision to support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in the Lok Sabha, keeping in mind the public sentiments.
“Minorities, especially Muslims, have been facing difficulties and restlessness after our party supported CAB in Lok Sabha. I insist you to seriously reconsider the decision taken by the party in this regard,” Balyawi wrote in a letter to the chief minister.
“People are hurt. Considering all these things, I have written a letter to Nitish Kumar, who is known for raising voice against the wrong things, to think again about party’s decision keeping in mind the sentiments of the people and the clauses of the Constitution,” he said.
Despite the advisory by party’s state president, Prashant Kishor, also a well-known election strategist, tweeted again on Wednesday and asked his party to spare a thought for the people who had voted the party to power.
“While supporting #CAB, the JDU leadership should spare a moment for all those who reposed their faith and trust in it in 2015. We must not forget that but for the victory of 2015, the party and its managers wouldn’t have been left with much to cut any deal with anyone.”
However, Kishor found himself cornered on the issue and many in party dismissed these voices of dissent as “personal opinion of leaders.”
“The party’s official line is clear. And it is there for all to see in the ongoing session of the Parliament. A leader or two may express a personal opinion but such isolated cases must not be construed as a division within the party on the issue,” said Sanjay Jha, a state minister and JD(U) national general secretary known for his proximity to the chief minister
This is not the first time, after his appointment as party’s vice president that Kishor has found himself cornered. Recently when he joined hands with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, sparks flew in party and leaders questioned his intention. He was also attacked by partymen after his “kingmaker’ barb to youths during a function at Muzaffarpur last year.
Prashant Kishor had played a key role in firming up the grand alliance between Nitish Kumar’s party, Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress that had won the 2015 election. Kumar walked out of the alliance in 2017 and teamed up with the Bharatiya Janata Party.