‘That is not a letter’: Nitish Kumar’s caustic message to partyman Pavan VarmaUpdated: Jan 24, 2020 16:44 IST
A day after advising party colleague Pavan Varma that he was “free to leave and join any party”, Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) chief Nitish Kumar made it clear on Friday that he was in no mood to reply to Varma’s “e-mailed letter”.
Speaking to media on the sidelines of a function, Kumar said, “That is not a letter. If a person is in the party, he writes a letter explaining the issue and then a reply is given to that person. Sending an e-mail without even informing and straightaway going to the press doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t consider that to be a letter.”
Varma had said on Thursday that he was waiting for Kumar’s response to his letter, in which he had questioned his decision to contest Delhi assembly polls in alliance with the BJP.
In response, Kumar made it clear that Varma is free to leave and join any other party. “His statements are not the party’s official stance. He is an intellectual person. I respect him although it’s an altogether different matter that he doesn’t respect us. This is his own decision, wherever he wants to go, he can go. We don’t have any objection,” he said and made it clear that if any party leader has any view, that should be discussed. “There is no need to issue such statements. I still respect him. Wherever he wants to go, he is free do so. My best wishes are with him,” Kumar said on Thursday.
“Don’t look at JD(U) in the context of statements by some people. JD(U) works with determination. We have a clear stand and don’t have any confusion,” the CM added.
On January 20, Varma had tweeted a copy of the letter that he wrote to Kumar. His tweet read, “This is the letter I have written to Nitish Kumar today asking him how the JD(U) has formed an alliance with the BJP for the Delhi elections, given his own views on the BJP, and the massive national outrage against the divisive CAA-NPR-NRC scheme.”
In the letter, he referred to private conversations in which the chief minister, he said, had expressed “grave apprehensions” about the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He said when they first met in 2012, Kumar had spoken to him at length on “why Narendra Modi and his policies are inimical for the country.”
Both Varma and election strategist Prashant Kishor had been opposing party’s support to CAA.
Party insiders feel that Kumar’s utterances are clear indications for Varma to leave the party, who represented the party in Rajya Sabha from 2014 till 2016. Currently he is party’s national general secretary and national spokesperson. As far as Kishor is concerned, party sources said that any action against him “may not come so soon”.