Prashant Kishor slams Nitish Kumar’s JDU for supporting CAB

Prashant Kishor attacked Nitish Kumar and said, “Gandhian ideology and support for Citizenship Amendment Bill cannot go together

New Delhi: On Monday the Janata Dal (United) Vice-President Prashant Kishor has raised an objection against Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for the JDU’s support to the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament. Kishor has expressed his regret over the Bill granting India citizenship to immigrants from neighboring countries on the basis of religion. The vote in Lok Sabha over the bill, Kishor slammed the JDU for pushing a line against secularism and Gandhian ideals. The Lok Sabha passed the CAB with 311 votes in favor while just 80 votes against.

Prashant Kishor attacked Nitish Kumar and said, “Gandhian ideology and support for Citizenship Amendment Bill cannot go together. One has to leave, either of the two.”

JDU parliamentary party leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh has supported the bill in Parliament, stated: “We support this Citizenship Amendment Bill. This bill should not be seen in the light of the majority or minority living in India. CAB is in favor of secularism. This bill is for those people who were citizens of this nation before its partition into India and Pakistan. We always read reports about the mistreatment of minority communities in Pakistan. No one can deny the fact that people of minority communities in Pakistan such as Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians or Parsis face different types of atrocities. They are forced to change their religion and if mistreated minorities of Pakistan are given Indian citizenship then it’s the right thing.”

Kishor, who is the chief campaign strategist of the JDU, has opposed the party’s decision. Earlier also he had questioned Nitish Kumar’s move to join hands with the BJP in 2017 from a public platform. After this statement, the relationship between Kishor and Nitish Kumar got drawn for a while.

JDU spokesperson and Bihar Minister Neeraj Kumar said that “JDU believes in secularism and Gandhian ideology. India was divided on the basis of religion into two parts of India and Pakistan and Gandhiji agree to it. The JDU has made its views clear on the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament. It is Prashant Kishor’s personal view to oppose it”. Kishor is working for CM Mamta Banerjee in West Bengal where the stakes are too high for him as TMC is against the BJP on the NRC and CAB.

Nitish Kumar, at the same time, is facing an election in Bihar, 2020, is cautious in his approach of not falling into the trap of BJP by opposing the NRC and CAB fearing the NDA ally will seize the opportunity to polarize voters on communal lines. In 2013, JDU broke alliance with BJP and tasted defeat in the general election the following year forcing Kumar to align with RJD and Congress to win power in Bihar in 2015. By supporting the BJP on NRC and CAB, JDU wants to enhance its bargain power in terms of more seats and play the role of the elder brother in the Assembly elections. Nitish Kumar wants to contest at least 20 seats more than the BJP.

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