Janata Dal (United) leader Khawaja Shahid on Friday tendered his resignation from the party as a mark of protest against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s stand over the Citizenship Amendment Act, reported ANI. The Janata Dal (United) is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the party had voted in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in both Houses of Parliament.
Shahid, who was the general secretary of the party’s minority cell, is the first leader to exit from the party over the amended citizenship law. However, Kumar is yet to accept his resignation.
“The decision of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was against the party’s constitution which supported secularism,” said Shahid, according to Hindustan Times. “I am peeved at his decision to support the Act.” He added that many other members would soon follow suit.
Party Vice President Prashant Kishor was the first in JD(U) to voice his concerns over the amended law and the National Register of Citizens. Kishor has time and again expressed his disappointment with the party’s decision to support the amendments. He soon found support in party’s national spokesperson Pawan Varma and member of legislative council Gulam Rasool Balyawi.
There have been massive protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC in the country over the last two weeks, resulting in the deaths of at least 25 people. The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, so long as they have entered India on or before December 31, 2014. However, it exempts Muslims from its purview.