Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday lashed out at party leader and former diplomat Pavan Varma for publicly questioning the JD(U)’s tie-up with the BJP for Delhi Assembly elections and raising his differences with the party over the citizenship issue, saying he was “free to go” wherever he likes as the latter reacted saying he would decide on the next course of action after receiving a reply from Kumar to his letter.
The Chief Minister also expressed his strong displeasure and objection over Varma, a national general secretary of the party, sharing on the social media a letter wherein he had made mention of the Chief Minister having expressed apprehensions “in private” about the BJP’s “divisive” agenda.
“He is a learned man for whom I have a lot of respect even if he may not have similar sentiments for me.
But is it proper to share such things in public and not on a party forum? What if I start sharing what he said to me in public?” Nitish told reporters in Patna.
On Varma’s repeated demands for “ideological clarity”, Nitish said, “The JD(U)’s stand is very clear...He is free to go wherever he likes”.
On his part, the JD(U) general secretary said he will decide his next course of action depending on the reply from party president Nitish Kumar to his letter and asserted that he will continue to speak “what he believes is for the good of the country and the party”.
Varma reacted after Nitish snubbed him saying he is free to go wherever he wants and slammed him for raising his concerns over the party’s stand on a host of citizenship measures of the Modi Government.
“I have not received a reply. Depending on the reply from the party president or its absence I will decide on my course of action. I will continue to speak what I believe is right, what is for the good of the country and the party,” the former Rajya Sabha member said.
The former diplomat has distanced himself from the JD(U) over its support to the amended citizenship law and the national population register exercise, as he has often claimed that these measures along with the national citizenship register, which is on the BJP’s agenda, are divisive for the country.