Prashant Kishor, an election strategist and Bihar's ruling party's vice-president and state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar spat has come out in public over party's stand on CAA at a time when two leaders including Kishor himself and JDU's national spokesperson Pawan Varma have questioned party's ideological view on the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The latest episode indulges two senior-most JDU leaders — Nitish Kumar and Prashant Kishor — as Kumar was being questioned by the media over Kishor's stand on the CAA which is not in line with the party. Speaking to media, Bihar CM said that it was Amit Shah who has recommended that Prashant Kishor could be inducted to the party, however, Kishor in his rebuttal said Nitish was lying. The chief minister had also said that Kishor was free join any political outfit he wants.
Following Nitish's remarks, Prashant Kishor revolted against Bihar Chief Minister, charging him with having "lied" about his induction into the party and questioning if it was tantamount to admitting capitulation before the BJP.
Nitish Kumar on Prashant Kishor's anti-CAA stand
In his first direct attack on the JD(U) national president, Kishor, who joined the party in September 2018 and was elevated to the rank of its national vice-president just weeks later, lashed out at Kumar for saying that he was inducted into the party at the instance of Union Home Minister and the then BJP chief Amit Shah.
Kumar had made the comment earlier after scribes asked won't relations between JD(U) and BJP will be hurt due to Kishor's attack on Twitter against Shah as Kishor was working for Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party where the NDA partners are contesting the February 8 assembly polls together.
What a fall for you: Prashant Kishore slams Nitish Kumar
"@NitishKumar what a fall for you to lie about how and why you made me join JDU!! Poor attempt on your part to try and make my colour same as yours! And if you are telling the truth who would believe that you still have courage not to listen to someone recommended by @AmitShah?," he wrote on microblogging site Twitter.
.@NitishKumar what a fall for you to lie about how and why you made me join JDU!! Poor attempt on your part to try and make my colour same as yours!— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) January 28, 2020
And if you are telling the truth who would believe that you still have courage not to listen to someone recommended by @AmitShah?
Kishor has been rankling the BJP for quite some time, questioning his own party's decision to support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament and insisting that the JD(U) contest a significantly higher number of seats than the saffron party in the assembly polls in Bihar due later this year.
There was no immediate reaction from leaders of the JD(U), who were stunned by Kishor's action.
Rift between Nitish Kumar, Prashant Kishor now in open
The development, however, is an indication that Kishor may have burnt his bridges as Kumar is a stickler for party discipline and does not brook any dissent.
Talking to reporters earlier in the day after a meeting of JD(U) workers in Bihar, Kumar refused to be drawn into the controversy over Kishor engaging in a "twitter war" with top BJP leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
"He remains in touch in his professional capacity. I have learnt through newspapers that he is working for the Aam Aadmi Party. But he remains in touch with so many people. I inducted him into my party upon Shah's recommendation," Kumar claimed.
"I will be happy if he remains in the party. I would be okay if he chooses otherwise. But if he has to stay he must do so respecting the party's structure," Kumar said replying cryptically to further queries.
(With inputs from PTI)