The ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in Bihar, headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar, keeps everyone “guessing” with its conflicting stands. Even as the JD-U strongly supported the Citizenship bill in Parliament, one of its top leaders and party’s national vice-president Prashant Kishor on Sunday formally declared that the new Citizenship law or the CAA as well as the National Register for Citizens (NRC) won’t be implemented in Bihar. Kishor is considered only next to Nitish in the party hierarchy, indicating the importance of his announcement.
“I join my voice with all to thank #Congress leadership for their formal and unequivocal rejection of #CAA_NRC. Both @rahulgandhi & @priyankagandhi deserves special thanks for their efforts on this count. Also would like to reassure to all- ‘Bihar mein CAA-NRC lagu nahin hoga (CAA-NRC won’t be implemented in Bihar),” Kishor, who is considered very close to the chief minister, tweeted on Sunday fuelling speculations.
I join my voice with all to thank #Congress leadership for their formal and unequivocal rejection of #CAA_NRC. Both @rahulgandhi & @priyankagandhi deserves special thanks for their efforts on this count.
Also would like to reassure to all – बिहार में CAA-NRC लागू नहीं होगा।
— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) January 12, 2020
The reactions assume much political significance as it comes close on the heels of the Congress Working Committee strongly criticising the Citizenship law, terming it “discriminatory and divisive” whose “sinister” purpose was to divide people on religious lines. The Congress meeting was held on Saturday under the chairmanship of interim president Sonia Gandhi. Observers link Kishor’s support for Congress leaders as JD-U’s growing closeness with the Grand Old Party.
What has triggered political speculations is the way JD-U leadership has constantly refused to act against Kishor or other senior leaders like Pavan Kumar Varma, national general secretary, who have taken a different line from the party and have been opposing the Citizenship law in public. Recently, there were strong rumours of the chief minister acting against the “party rebels” but it turned out to be a different story when Kishor emerged out after meeting Nitish.
While the media people kept guessing about the kind of actions the chief minister is planning to initiate, Kishor appeared cool and composed after meeting the chief minister on his divergent stand over the Citizenship bill and constant tweets over it. What was very interesting was that Kishor was told by the chief minister not to worry but rather, continue carrying out his job without looking at the reactions! “Kaun kya kahata hai aap mujhpar chhod dijiye (whoever says what just leave it to me),” was how the chief minister reportedly told his leader.