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'The Least They Could Do...': Prashant Kishor Gives 'Largely Absent' Cong Leadership a Piece of His Mind

File photo of JD(U) vice-president and election strategist Prashant Kishor.

File photo of JD(U) vice-president and election strategist Prashant Kishor.

The poll strategist's remarks came in the backdrop of Congress president Sonia Gandhi issuing a statement saying the “brute force” used by the NDA government to suppress dissent was "unacceptable" in a democracy.

New Delhi: Amid fierce protests across the country against the amended Citizenship Act and proposed implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), election campaign strategist and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) vice president Prashant Kishor slammed the Congress leadership for being largely absent from the citizens’ fight.

He said the least the grand old party could do is ensure that chief ministers of Congress-ruled states say that they would not implement the NRC, failing which any its statements would mean nothing.

His remarks came in the backdrop of Congress president Sonia Gandhi issuing a statement on Thursday saying the “brute force” used by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre to suppress dissent was "unacceptable" in a democracy.

Stating that Centre was showing “utter disregard for people’s voices”, Sonia extended solidarity with students and citizens in their just struggle. In a televised message, she said people have the right to raise their voice against wrong decisions and policies of the government, and register their concerns.

Soon after, Congress’ national social media coordinator Lavanya Ballal reminded Kishor of his consultancy Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC)’s role in helping the Narendra Mdi-led BJP come to power five years ago and accused him of having no “spine”.

“What does one do when your spine is weaker than cartilage- attack Congress. @PrashantKishor You enabled this regime to capture power through your PR, shame on you that you have no spine to speak up against the BJP," she wrote on Twitter.

The Congress leadership has been facing criticism from several quarters for not playing an active role at a time when protests have rocked the country against the controversial law.

While senior party leader Priyanka Gandhi has led few relatively small rallies in the National Capital over the issue, former president Rahul Gandhi has been slammed for an ill-timed trip to South Korea. Other senior party leaders have also not been much visible.

Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which has been fiercely critical of Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) and his deputy Kishor, also accused the latter of having sold his soul. The JD(U) leads the government in Bihar in alliance with the BJP.

“You sold (your) soul, WHAT (has) ur Turncoat leader, party president and Chameleon Bihar CM has done regarding it? If you have problem with it they why don't you resign from JDU. Nitish Kumar said in a TV interview that you are a BJP agent forcefully appointed as Nitish's VP,” the RJD wrote on its official Twitter handle.

The poll strategist, who has been speaking ferociously against a combined implementation of the CAB and NRC, had been reportedly upset with the JD(U) leadership for supporting the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Parliament. He was even said to have offered to quit, which was, however, not accepted by Kumar.

Kishor, however, said he stood by the "views I have expressed" and the amended Citizenship Act was, per se, not a "major cause for worry" but it could be problematic in combination with the proposed NRC.

Soon after the Bill was passed in Parliament, Kishor had urged the non-BJP chief ministers to “save the soul of India” and take a stand against the contentious Act. “The majority prevailed in Parliament. Now beyond judiciary, the task of saving the soul of India is on 16 Non-BJP CMs as it is the states who have to operationalise these acts,” he said.


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