Bihar Chief Minister-led Janata Dal (United) (JDU) on Wednesday (29 January) expelled two of its senior leaders -- vice president Prashant Kishor and national spokesperson Pavan Kumar Varma -- for engaging in “anti-party” activities, The Times of India reported.
The two leaders have lately been outspoken against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and questioned their party’s support to the law.
Kishor, taking to Twitter after the suspension, said, “Thank you @NitishKumar. My best wishes to you to retain the chair of Chief Minister of Bihar. God bless you.”
What led to this development was a war of words between the Bihar CM and the two leaders at two different occasions.
On Tuesday, CM Kumar, making it clear that Kishor was free to quit the party if he wanted to, said that he had inducted the political strategist into JDU on Union Minister Amit Shah’s recommendation, who was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president back then.
The CM was responding to a question asked by a news reporter regarding Kishor’s regular tweets objecting the new citizenship law and JDU’s support to it.
“Someone is tweeting, let him a tweet. What do I've to do with it? One can stay at the party till he wants. He can go if he wants...Do you know how did he join the party? Amit Shah asked me to induct him”, Nitish Kumar was quoted as saying.
#WATCH Bihar CM on Prashant Kishor:Someone wrote a letter I replied to it,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,he can go if he wants...Do you know how did he join the party?Amit Shah asked me to induct him. pic.twitter.com/wlN4Q2o9uo— ANI (@ANI) January 28, 2020
“Amit Shah Ji told me to take him in the party. But he (Kishor) works for different kinds of people as a (poll) strategist. He is now working for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). He might have ambitions to go places. He is free to go,” the CM added.
However, Kishor quickly responded to Nitish Kumar’s claims that rejected them. ““@NitishKumar, what a fall for you to lie about how and why you made me join JDU!!!! Poor attempt on your part to try and make my colour same as yours! And if you are telling the truth who would believe that you still have courage not to listen to someone recommended by @AmitShah? (sic), he wrote in a tweet.
.@NitishKumar what a fall for you to lie about how and why you made me join JDU!! Poor attempt on your part to try and make my colour same as yours!— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) January 28, 2020
And if you are telling the truth who would believe that you still have courage not to listen to someone recommended by @AmitShah?
Earlier this month, Bihar CM had slammed Varma for seeking clarification from him over the CAA and threatening to quit the party. He said that Varma was free to leave the party and join whichever he wanted.
On 21 January, Varma had written a letter to Kumar asking him for “ideological clarity” over JDU’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Delhi and “massive national outrage” against CAA-NPR-NRC. He later made the letter public and sought reply from the Bihar CM.
Kumar expressed ‘surprise’ over Varma’s public statements and said that he can “join any party he likes”.
“If anyone has any issues then the person can discuss it within the party or at party meetings, but such kind of public statements are surprising. He can go and join any party he likes, my best wishes,” he said.
#WATCH Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on JDU leader Pawan Verma's letter to him on CAA&NRC: If anyone has any issues then the person can discuss it within party or at party meetings, but such kind of public statements are surprising. He can go and join any party he likes, my best wishes. pic.twitter.com/qFXgVSWfKu— ANI (@ANI) January 23, 2020