Patna: Seeking to de-link himself from the strong anti-CAA and NRC stand taken by party vice-president and poll strategist Prashant Kishor, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said people are free to remain in the party or leave if they want.
"Someone is tweeting, let him tweet. What do I have to do with that? One can stay in the JDU till one wants...one can also leave if one wants," Kumar said in Patna on being asked about a series of tweets by Kishor taking a strident position on National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act.
"Already he works as a strategist for various parties, but I'm making one thing clear, if he wants to remain in the party he will have to adopt the basic structure of the party," warned the JD(U) chief.
He also reminded Kishor that he has Amit Shah to thank for being inducted as a member of the JD(U) in the first place. "Do you know how he joined the party? Amit Shah asked me to induct him," he told reporters.
The apparent dig came a day after Kishor took on Shah for his remark that Delhi voters should press the lotus button EVM so hard that current is felt at Shaheen Bagh.
In a tweet targeting the BJP leader, Kishor had said the EVM button in Delhi will be pressed with love. “Jolts like this should always be dealt softly so that the social harmony and brotherhood are never disturbed," he tweeted.
In the last one month, Kishor in a series of tweets has sought to question the government's position on the citizenship law, taking on top BJP leaders, including Shah.
A few days ago, he had also dared the union home minister to implement CAA and NRC in the same "chronology" that he "audaciously announced".
The public spat between Kishor and Kumar has erupted amid a heated campaign for the Delhi elections, in which the two are interestingly on the opposing sides. While Kishor is handling the campaign for the Aam Aadmi Party, Nitish Kumar’s party has formed an alliance with the BJP to contest on two seats.
This comes days after Kumar's sharp words with another senior aide, Pavan Varma, who had also openly opposed the party’s official stand on CAA as well as the alliance in Delhi. After Varma wrote an open letter asking Kumar to reconsider his position, the CM had said he was free to leave the party.
The JD(U) chief’s comments reveal that his patience is wearing thin with the two prominent leaders.
Kishor, the man with the midas touch who had helped Modi get elected as the PM in 2014 and then steered the campaign in Bihar assembly elections for the JD(U), Congress and RJD, said he would reply to Kumar on his own terms. "Nitish Ji has spoken, you should wait for my answer. I will come to Bihar to answer him."