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Prashant Kishor digs in his heels, makes it clear he wont give up his stance

Prashant Kishor digs in his heels, makes it clear he wont give up his stance

Patna: Isolated within his own party after opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, JD(U) national vice-president Prashant Kishor on Thursday dug in his heels, asserting the legislation could help the government "systematically discriminate and even prosecute" people on the basis of religion.

In a fresh tweet that he ended tellingly with the hashtag "NotGivingUp", Kishor sought to dismiss the contention that the Bill aimed "to grant citizenship and not to take it from anyone".



JD(U) headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has sought to defend its support to the Bill in both Houses of the Parliament on the basis of this assertion despite misgivings that it might adversely affect Muslims.

"We are told that #CAB is bill to grant citizenship and not to take it from anyone. But the truth is, together with #NRC it could turn into a lethal combo in the hands of Government to systematically discriminate and even prosecute people based on religion. #NotGivingUp, tweeted the poll strategist-turned-politician.

Kishor's anti-CAB comments had no takers within the party.

JD(U) national general secretary Pavan K Varma, who had voiced disagreement on supporting CAB after the party voted in favour of it in the Lok Sabha, urging Kumar to "reconsider" the stand in the Rajya Sabha, has since not made any new comment on the issue.

Bihar minister Sanjay Jha, a close aide of the cm, and state JD(U) president and Rajya Sabha MP Vashishth Narayan Singh had backed the party stand and discarded dissents as "personal opinions."

Since Monday, when the Bill was tabled in Parliament by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Kishor has been taking to twitter to express his disappointment with the partys decision to back the legislation holding that it was against the partys commitment to secularism and Gandhian ideals.

On Wednesday,when crucial support of the JD(U)'s six MPs helped BJP getting the bill passed in the Rajya Sabha, Kishor reminded the party of its victory in the 2015 assembly polls which it had fought in alliance with Lalu Prasads RJD and Congress and Kumar had vowed to make a "Sangh-mukt Bharat".

In an indirect reference to Kumars abrupt and controversial return to the NDA in 2017 which he had left four years earlier, Kishor had remarked in a tweet "we must not forget that but for the victory of 2015,the party and its managers wouldnt have been left with much to cut any deal with anyone".

The close to the bone remark of Kishor  whom Kumar had inducted into the party last year and elevated to the top post within a few weeks  seemed to have touched a raw nerve with the JD(U).

It revived memories of its debacle in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls which had prompted the national president to step down as chief minister and make a comeback later after having cobbled up an alliance with Lalu Prasad, ending years of rivalry.

Moreover, there have been speculations that by his surprising decision to support the Bill, Kumar has sought to return the favour to Shah  also the BJP national president  who recently silenced detractors of the JD(U) chief within his own party by asserting that he would lead the NDA charge in the assembly polls scheduled next year.

Meanwhile, JD(U) spokesman and state minister Neeraj Kumar came out with a bristling riposte to Kishor, whom he did not mention by name.

"Nitish is secular in thought and deed and his persona is spotless like a mirror.Be under no illusions,voting statistics speak volumes about his popularity. The votes garnered by JD (U) rose to 89.02 lakh in the Lok Sabha polls this year, up from the 64.17 lakh tally of 2015. It was a jump of 39 per cent. Kindly update your knowledge, Neeraj Kumar tweeted.

Notably, the outspoken former poll strategist had embarrassed his party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls when he said in an interview that it would have been better had Nitish Kumar sought a fresh mandate after walking out of the Grand Alliance.

After extending his service to Jagan Mohan Reddy of the YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh, Kishor is now working for Mamata Banerjees TMC, which is bitterly opposed to the BJP, thereby often causing strains in the saffron partys relationship with the JD(U).

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