Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday claimed his party colleague and political strategist Prashant Kishor was inducted in the Janata Dal (United) on Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s request, ANI reported.
Kishor accused the Janata Dal (United) chief of lying. “What a fall for you to lie about how and why you made me join JD(U)!!” he tweeted. “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 Amit Shah?”
The relationship between the two has been strained over the past month. Kishor is a vocal critic of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens, and has questioned Kumar’s stand on the amended citizenship law. “[If] someone is tweeting, let him tweet,” Kumar told reporters earlier in the day. “What do I have to do with it? One can stay in the party till he wants. He can go if he wants.”
The chief minister pointed out that Kishor was working as a political strategist for several parties, adding that he might want to quit the Janata Dal (United). “If he stays it’s okay. If he goes, it’s okay...but I’m making one thing clear, if he wants to remain in the party he will have to adopt the basic structure of the party,” NDTV quoted him as saying.
Last week, the chief minister had dismissed the letters written to him by the party’s national spokesperson Pavan Varma on the amended citizenship law and the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party. Kumar said Varma’s letters did not have any meaning or value. The day before, he had said Varma was free to leave the party.
The Janata Dal (United) has been part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance since 1996, except from 2013 to 2017. In those four years, Kumar had publicly opposed the BJP’s Hindutva agenda. He returned to the NDA fold to form the government in Bihar.