Janata Dal (United), or JD(U), vice-president Prashant Kishor and general secretary Pavan Varma were expelled from the party on Wednesday on disciplinary grounds, a day after Bihar chief minister and party chief Nitish Kumar asked them not to speak out of turn and express their views at party platforms.
Senior leaders of the party said the decision was expected since Kishor has links with too many political parties whereas Varma has little influence on the electorate of Bihar. The absence of the two leaders would not hurt the party much, they added.
“Both Prashant Kishor and Pavan Varma have been speaking out of turn. It is not just about Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Population Register (NPR) or National Register of Citizens (NRC). Pavan Varma had opposed the decision of JD(U) to join hands with the BJP. If a decision has been taken by the party president, then it is mandatory to follow," a senior JD(U) leader aware of the development said on condition of anonymity.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Kumar told reporters that Kishor had joined JD(U) because home minister Amit Shah had asked Kumar to induct Kishor in his party. Earlier this month, both Kishor and Varma wrote a letter to Kumar asking him to clarify the party’s stand on Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA. JD(U) had backed BJP in Parliament during the passage of the controversial Act, which has seen nationwide protests since then.
“Thank you Nitish Kumar. My best wishes to you to retain the chair of Chief Minister of Bihar. God bless you," tweeted Kishor after the decision was announced by JD(U).
The problems within JD(U) have surfaced at a time the party is preparing for the assembly elections in October-November this year.
“Thank you Nitish Kumar ji for freeing me from my increasingly untenable position of defending you and your policies. I wish you well in your ambition of being CM of Bihar at any cost," tweeted Varma after the announcement.