Free To Leave: Nitish Kumar Dares Party Colleague Pavan Kumar In Fight Over CAA

Free To Leave: Nitish Kumar Dares Party Colleague Pavan Kumar In Fight Over CAA

EC News Desk

Patna, January 23, 2020: Nitish Kumar has delivered a knock-out snub to close aide Pawan Varma, who had publicly called him out on his stand on ally BJP and the decision to partner with it for the Delhi election amid nationwide protests against the citizenship law CAA. "He is free to go and join any party he likes, my best wishes," the Bihar Chief Minister declared to the media today.

Pawan Varma, a former Rajya Sabha member and national general secretary of JDU, had tweeted a letter to Nitish Kumar on Tuesday saying he was "deeply perplexed" by the alliance with the BJP for the February Delhi election. He referred to private conversations in which the Chief Minister had expressed "grave apprehensions" about the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

"Our stand is clear, no confusion. If anyone has any issues then the person can discuss it within party or at party meetings, but to give such public statements is surprising. Is this a way to talk," said a furious Nitish Kumar, making it amply clear that his word prevails and also telegraphing to the BJP that these statements do not represent the party line.

"(Leaving) is an option that everyone has and I know it," responded Mr Varma, adding that he welcomed the chief minister's statement that there is space for discussion within the party. He said he would decide what to do after a reply to his letter.

In his letter, Mr Varma had challenged his party chief to "harmonise" what he felt in private and what the JDU did in public.

"On more than one occasion, you have expressed your grave apprehensions about the BJP-RSS combine. If these are your real views, I fail to understand how the JDU is now extending its alliance with the BJP beyond Bihar, when even long standing allies of the BJP, like the Akali Dal, have refused to do so. This is especially so at a time when the BJP, through the CAA-NPR-NRC combine, has embarked on a massive social divisive agenda aimed at mutilating the peace, harmony and stability of the country," Mr Varma wrote.

Mr Varma reminded Mr Kumar that in their first meeting in 2012, "you had spoken to me at length and with conviction on why Narendra Modi and his policies are inimical for the country." He also referred to Mr Kumar's call for an "RSS-mukt Bharat (RSS-free India)".