Nitish Kumar didn’t listen, Prashant Kishor turns to CMs on citizenship law
On Friday, Prashant Kishor appeared to rest his hopes of scuttling implementation of the contentious law on non-BJP chief ministers and urged them to step up.Updated: Dec 13, 2019 16:53 IST
Prashant Kishor isn’t giving up. The Janata Dal United vice president who has been sharply critical of the recent changes to the citizenship law continued his tweet attacks on the legislation that have embarrassed his party. On Friday, Prashant Kishor appeared to rest his hopes of scuttling implementation of the contentious law on non-BJP chief ministers and urged them to step up.
“The majority prevailed in Parliament. Now beyond judiciary, the task of saving the soul of India is on 16 Non-BJP CMs as it is the states who have to operationalise these acts. 3 CMs (Punjab/Kerala/WB) have said NO to #CAB and #NRC. Time for others to make their stand clear,” tweeted Kishor.
Before the Rajya Sabha voted on the Citizenship Amendment Bill on Wednesday, Prashant Kishor had tweeted a public appeal to his party boss Nitish Kumar to revisit the JDU’s stand on the law.
Kishor’s tweet comes a day after Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee and Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan said that they will not implement the “controversial act” in their states. There were some additions to this list on Friday but it isn’t clear what this opposition would translate into on the ground.
Prashant Kishor’s tweets against the party line have irked party leaders but they aren’t sure if Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will act against him.
A senior JDU leader said Prashant Kishor’s repeated criticism appeared to hint that he wanted the party to act against him. But this leader had his doubts if Nitish Kumar would go so far as to show him the door.
Prashant Kishor had played a key role in the 2015 grand alliance - Congress and Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Party were the other two partners - that brought back Nitish Kumar as chief minister. Nitish Kumar had switched his alliance partners in 2017 when he exited this grand alliance and teamed up with the BJP.
Another JDU leader said many of them hoped chief minister Kumar who is on a state-wide roadshow would take a call on Prashant Kishor’s conduct once he returns to state capital Patna on Friday evening.
Kishor found support from national spokesperson Pavan K Verma and 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 Lok Sabha, keeping in mind the public sentiments.
The JDU’s principal general secretary KC Tyagi refused to comment on the issue. But state minister Neeraj Kumar had responded to Prashant Kishor’s barbs on Thursday.
“Nitish is secular in thought and deed and his persona is spotless like a mirror. Be under no illusions, voting statistics speak volumes about his popularity. The votes garnered by JD (U) rose to 89.02 lakh in the Lok Sabha polls this year, up from the 64.17 lakh tally of 2015. It was a jump of 39 per cent. Kindly update your knowledge,” Neeraj Kumar, who is also the party’s spokesperson, tweeted.