Little over a year after they came together, tension has surfaced again in relationship between the JD-U and the BJP in Bihar.
The cause of fresh tension is the alleged move by Prashant Kishor, JD-U vice-president considered very close to chief minister Nitish Kumar, to meddle in the Patna University Students’ Union (PUSU) elections and work in favour of his party. The elections will be held on Wednesday.
The tension aggravated last evening when Kishor who joined the JD-U in September this year and is considered just next to the chief minister in hierarchy was caught rushing to the residence of the vice-chancellor last evening in utter violation of the model code of conduct. As per reports, Kishore stayed with the V-C for some five hours which hugely angered the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) leaders.
Reports said angry ABVP workers pelted stones at the Kishor’s vehicle once he came out, damaging the glasses although the JD-U leader escaped unhurt. The police reacted by resorting to lathi-charge and arresting a few leaders. But what angered the BJP was that the police didn’t act on the complaint filed by the ABVP and acted only on the complaint filed from the JD-U side.
The overall situation took a curious turn on Tuesday when BJP legislators sat on dharna along with several party leaders and ABVP activists in front of Pirbahore police station here and demanded for the arrest of Kishor. The legislators who sat on dharna included, Arun Sinha, Sanjeev Chaurasia and Nitin Navin.
“We demand immediate arrest of Prashant Kishor who violated the model code by visiting the VC residence,” said Navin who also happens to be youth BJP chief. The other party legislators and supporters backed him thoroughly. Their dharna came hours after the BJP leaders met the Governor Lalji Tandon on Monday night and registered their strong protest over Kishor’s alleged interference in the PUSU polls.
Kishor, however, denied all the charges leveled against him. “I don’t know why they are seeking for my arrest. We are the alliance partner and we too hold the right to contest elections,” Kishore said. He denied he ever misused the CM House or made any calls to any officials.
The opposition RJD hit out at the chief minister over this issue. “The unprecedented manner in which Nitish Kumar is unabashedly muddying his hands in University politics, overlooking ethics, misusing CM residence and state machinery to bully rival student wings shows his dictatorial mindset, insecurity and desperation. Why doesn’t he campaign in Patna University?” asked RJD legislator and Bihar opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav.
Stating that student politics is considered nursery for budding leaders, Tejashwi asked the chief minister to treat rival students participating as his own. “His (CM’s) conduct should be of a statesman, a guardian, not of a henchman who beats up hapless kids to ensure that his kids stand first,” he said.