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Day after Nitish warning, JD(U) expels Prashant Kishor, Pavan Varma for ‘exceeding party line’

Kishor and Varma had tweeted against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC on multiple occasions and urged Nitish to oppose the new citizenship law.

jdu, prashant kishor expelled, pawan varma prashant kishor jdu expelled, nitish kumar jdu chief, caa Prashant Kishor (left) and Pavan Varma (right) were expelled for “acting against party’s decisions” (File Photo)

A day after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said JD(U) national vice-president Prashant Kishor was free to leave the party, the party on Wednesday expelled Kishor and JD(U) national spokesperson and former Rajya Sabha member Pavan K Varma from primary membership for having “exceeded the party (line) and going public with their views”.

Kishor and Varma had tweeted against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC on multiple occasions and urged Nitish to oppose the new citizenship law.

Reacting to his expulsion, Kishor tweeted, “Thank you @NitishKumar. My best wishes to you to retain the chair of Chief Minister of Bihar. God bless you.”

Varma tweeted: “Thank you Nitish Kumar ji for freeing me from my increasingly untenable position of defending you and your policies. I wish you well in your ambition of being CM of Bihar at any cost.”

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Confirming their expulsion, JD(U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi said, “Both had been going public with their independent views, which did not go with the party line. It was indiscipline on their part to exceed their brief. Their action amounted to violation of party’s policies.”

Kishor had constantly criticised the JD(U)’s alliance partner, BJP, and Varma recently revealed purported details of his “private conversations” with Nitish on the latter’s views on BJP and RSS.

Explained

For PK, an expulsion waiting to come

Prashant Kishor and Pavan K Varma were taken as “outsiders” by other top leaders in JD(U) from the beginning. While Varma’s voice of dissent was heard only recently, in light of the protests against CAA, NRC and NPR, Kishor had taken on top BJP leaders through his tweets even earlier. Not many second-rung leaders in the party liked his style of functioning, even though some leaders had joined Kishor camp for a while. Kishor’s clash with R C P Singh for assertion of role in the party, his many independent views, his business interest across the political divide, and his strong reservation against the BJP made way for his expulsion.

Kishor, a poll strategist who had spearheaded the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign for Narendra Modi and run a successful campaign for the then RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance for 2015 Bihar polls, which eventually saw Nitish becoming the CM, was given the position of JD(U) vice-president soon after he joined the party in 2018.

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Varma, author and former diplomat, was nominated to Rajya Sabha. Both were taken as ideologues of the party; Kishor, in particular, was being taken as a close aide and adviser of the Bihar CM.

Kishor’s rise in the party was meteoric. His decision to join JD(U) in September 2018 won him special mention from Nitish, who called the development a matter of “personal happiness”.

But unlike other senior JD(U) leaders like R C P Singh and Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Kishor often went public with his views.

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After multiple tweets from Kishor criticising Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the party’s top leader in Bihar, Deputy CM Sushil Modi, Nitish finally spoke up against Kishor on Tuesday, reminding him that he had been taken in JD(U) on Shah’s recommendation. Having already asked Varma to leave the party, Nitish now said as much for Kishor: “It is OK if he leaves, it is OK he stays back. But if he stays, he has to adhere to (party’s) basic structures”.

First published on: 30-01-2020 at 02:10:56 am
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