Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha on Sunday criticised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his party, JD(U), for supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in both the Houses of Parliament and paving the way for it to become a law.
Kushwaha, former Union minister, said the ruling JD(U) has become BJP’s ‘B’ team by supporting the legislation.
“My elder brother Nitish Kumar is in quandary. He met the Assamese delegation on the issue. He went to Assam and opposed the CAB. But JD(U) has surrendered to BJP in Parliament on the issue and become ‘B’ team of the saffron party,” Kushwaha said while addressing a function organised here by RLSP’s youth wing to commemorate the death anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Notwithstanding its alliance with BJP, the JD(U) had till recently opposed to the National Register for Citizens (NRC) and the CAB, holding that the moves discriminated against the Muslim population and could trigger massive unrest in the north-east.
JD (U) national vice president Prashant Kishor had expressed displeasure over his party supporting the contentious bill in Parliament, saying that the legislation discriminates against people “on the basis of religion”.
Referring to Kishor’s remark, the RLSP chief said, “I know (Nitish) Kumar. Kishor is giving good advice to the chief minister but he does not listen to him. Kishor is trapped in wrong place (party) and he should come out of it.”
Speaking on the protests against the new citizenship law, Kushwaha said, “The controversy could have been avoided, had the Centre made it religion neutral.”
Meanwhile, RJD has called a Bihar bandh on December 21 to protest against the new citizenship law while the Left parties will hold a nationwide agitation on December 19 on the same issue.
Kushwaha said that the Left parties, RJD and other Grand Alliance partners should combine their protest programmes.
“I think it has happened because of communication gap between the Left parties and RJD. I am in touch with both and hope that the protest-cum-bandh will be organised in a single day,” RLSP leader said.