JD(U) leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Pavan Varma is likely to quit the party soon. “I will take a decision during the next few days. It has become difficult for me to stay in the party,” Varma told The Indian Express Wednesday.
A former IFS officer, Varma said JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had stated at a party officebearers’ meeting that he was opposed to the Citizenship Amendment Act. Nitish, according to him, maintained that “it will not be proper for the JD(U)” to support it, “particularly, in the context of Assam and the North-East”. However, Varma said, when he called up Nitish ahead of the vote on the legislation, he told him, “How can we not support it when even the AGP is backing it?”
“But, Nitish should see that now even the AGP is opposing CAA,” Varma said.
Regarding his future plans, Varma said he wanted to work for creation of “a credible alternative to the current dispensation” which would provide India the governance it requires.
Terming the new citizenship law “exclusionist”, Varma said the new law and the proposed NRC “are two sides of the same coin”.
In an interview to Karan Thapar for the The Wire, Varma said support to the new law is violative of JD(U)’s principles and that he was “disappointed and disillusioned” with Nitish.
Asked what could have forced Nitish to support the Bill, he said, “Nitish Kumar alone should answer this. Rather than letting Prashant Kishor speak, the Bihar CM should come forward to clear JD (U) line…”.
Regarding incidents in Jamia Millia Islamia on Sunday, Varma told Thapar that the handling of the situation by Delhi Police had damaged India’s standing internationally. The worst part, he felt, was either Modi did not realise this or did not care.
The Prime Minister’s comment that protesters could be identified by their clothes was “shameful, shocking and unbecoming”, he said.
Mounting criticism on BJP, Varma said, “BJP believed its manifesto was the Constitution.”
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