The Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal United alliance in Bihar seems to be in a state of utter chaos as far as the understanding between the alliance partners and within the Nitish Kumar-led party on the Citizenship Amendment Act is concerned. BJP leader and Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Monday launched a blistering attack against JD(U) national vice-president Prashant Kishor over his comments on the seat-sharing between the two parties in the state. Sushil tweeted that those involved in the business of collecting political data and coining slogans are only benefiting opposition parties.
“The 2020 assembly polls in the state will be fought under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The decision regarding seat-sharing will be decided by the leadership of both parties’ leadership at the right time. There are no problems in that,” he tweeted in Hindi.
“But those who have joined politics without any ideology and running the business of collecting election data and coining slogans, are making statements against the coalition dharma and benefiting the opposition alliance,” he added.
Sushil Modi’s remark comes a day after Kishor said that the JD(U) headed by Nitish Kumar is bigger than the BJP in Bihar and should contest more seats in the Assembly polls. The eastern state will go to polls in October-November in 2020. Nitish Kumar will seek fourth consecutive term.
“A person running a business for profit first tries to create a market for his service, thinks about the welfare of the country later,” the BJP leader said further without naming Kishor.
The two leaders locking horns sends out mixed signals on whether all is well within the alliance in an election year. Bihar goes to polls towards the end of 2020 and the BJP, losing out on forming government in a string of states in 2019, is banking on support from Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to help it retain power.
The signals from within the JD(U) are equally confusing. Amid persistent attacks by Kishor over CAA and his remarks on seat-sharing between the two alliance partners, senior party leader RCP Singh had to step up and clarify that things were in order within the alliance.
“A few people are in a habit of making statements, they keep making comments. The JD(U) has not authorised anyone to speak (on the topic). The NDA will contest election under Nitish Kumar’s leadership. There is a harmony between the leadership of the two parties,” Singh said.
The BJP too stepped up and clarified that things were not as Kishor’s tweets sought to suggest. On BJP and JD(U) alliance, Sushil Modi said except for a few years, the ties between the two parties are two decades old and based on mutual trust. “The NDA is united on topics of development in Bihar, rule of law, women empowerment, justice for Dalits and backward, ban on child marriage and dowry, and others,” he tweeted.
Kishor has been vocal against the Modi government ever since the Citizenship Amendment Act was cleared by the Parliament. He had even expressed displeasure over the JD(U) leadership’s decision to support the legislation, saying granting citizenship on the religious lines is a violation of the Constitution. Kishor has also told media that Nitish Kumar is against the pan-India NRC exercise.
Kishor runs a consultancy firm Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC). He worked for Narendra Modi in 2011 when the latter was Gujarat CM. The BJP also took his help in the 2014 general elections. Kishor in 2015 worked for grand alliance (now dissolved) comprising JD(U), Lalu’s RJD, Congress and other regional parties in Bihar. He joined the Janata Dal (United) in September 2018 and was appointed as the party’s national vice-president.
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Source: Financial Express