‘Must want to exit’: Nitish Kumar sees a message in Prashant Kishor turning critic
Prashant Kishor, the Janata Dal United leader who is seen to have turned into an in-house critic of the party after the party’s support to the citizenship law, is free to stay or leave the party, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Tuesday.
Kumar’s blunt remark about Prashant Kishor is a surprise shift, considering that the chief minister has all along been seen to have shielded the outspoken JDU leader despite hurling barbs at the party over its support to the Citizenship Amendment Act.
“If someone is tweeting, let him tweet. What do I’ve to do with it? One can stay in the party (JD-U) till he wants… Or he can go if he wants,” Nitish Kumar said at a news conference on Tuesday.
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Prashant Kishor and ex-diplomat Pavan K Varma have been two sharp, and vocal critics of the amended citizenship law that have led to protests in many parts of the country. Both had publicly questioned Nitish Kumar’s stand on the law.
Last week, Pavan K Varma wrote an open letter to the chief minister that reminded Kumar about his “real” opinion of the BJP, its leadership and policies. Kumar did not send him a formal reply but told reporters that he was free to leave the party.
The chief minister delivered the same message to Prashant Kishor on Tuesday. Nitish Kumar, who faced a barrage of questions on Prashant Kishor’s acerbic attacks on the BJP and Home Minister Amit Shah, shot back that the former BJP president had played a key role in his induction into the JDU.
“Do you know how he (Prashant Kishor) joined the party?Amit Shah asked me to induct him,” Nitish Kumar said, answering his question.
Prashant Kishor, who has made a career out of strategising for political leaders and their parties to win elections, was inducted into the JDU in September 2018 and soon elevated as the Janata Dal United’s vice president. Prashant Kishor was initially active in party affairs but ended up rubbing some well-entrenched party leaders the wrong way and moved aside.
Nitish Kumar speculated why someone who was in the party would hurls darts at his party. Prashant Kishor probably wanted to leave the party, he suggested.
“If he does all this, he must be wanting to go. He must want to go somewhere else,” Nitish Kumar said.