‘Free to Go’: Nitish Snubs Varma For Questioning JD(U)-BJP Tie-Up

Responding to a letter addressed to him, Nitish Kumar said issues should be discussed within party or at meetings.

Updated24 Jan 2020, 07:42 AM IST
3 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Responding to Pawan Varma's open letter to him on the party’s alliance with the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) in the upcoming Delhi elections, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday, 23 January expressed surprise over Varma’s statement and said that he can join any party he likes.

“If anyone has any issues then the person can discuss it within party or at party meetings, but such kind of public statements are surprising. He can go and join any party he likes, my best wishes,” Kumar said.

“Don’t look at JDU through someone’s opinion. JDU works with a lot of conviction and we are very clear of our stand on particular things. We are not confused about anything.”
Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar

He further responded to the letter on 23 January, saying that a letter addressed and submitted to the party would have deserved a response – but not one submitted online.

“Isko kehte hain patra? Koi aadmi party ka rehta hai, aur patra likhta hai aur patra deta hai, tab na uska jawab hota hai. Ise patra kehte hain...email per bhej dijiye kuch aur press me jaari kar dijiye!”

(“This is called a letter? If a person from the party writes a letter and submits it, only then does it warrant a reply. Do you call this a letter...sent on emails and delivered to the press!”)

Varma responded saying that he welcomes Nitish Kumar's statement on there being “space for discussion within party.” I will continue to speak what I believe is right, what is for the good of the country and the party,” he said.

“It was never my intention to hurt him. I want party to have ideological clarity. Awaiting reply to my letter; will decide future course of action after that,” he said.

In a bid to gain some ideological clarity regarding the JDU-BJP alliance in the upcoming Delhi elections, Varma, National General Secretary of JDU, wrote an open letter on Tuesday, 21 January to Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, highlighting Kumar’s view on the BJP party and its policies.

In a two-page letter, posted on his Twitter handle, Varma states the Bihar CM’s views on the BJP and also mentions the prime minister, Narendra Modi, by name.

“You have spoken with me at length and with conviction on why Narendra Modi and his policies are inimical for the country,” he writes in the letter. Further stating that these views are of public record, he says:

“It was your personal view, conveyed to me, that the BJP is destroying institutions and that there is need for democratic and socialist groups in the country to regroup, a task for which you actually assigned a senior party official.”
“I remember you confessing to me in private on how the current leadership in the BJP party has humiliated you. You maintained, on more than one occasion, on how the BJP party is leading the country to a ‘dangerous place’.”

The letter further narrates Nitish Kumar’s opinion of the BJP, according to Pavan Varma.

In reference to the ongoing protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Registry (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the former IFS officer Varma questions the need to align with a party whose views counter those of the icons of JDU-Mahatma Gandhi, Lohila, JP.

“Politics, as you have emphasized to us, must be about principle and the courage of conviction.”
Pavan K. Varma, National Gen Secretary of Janata Dal (United)

In the final page of the letter, Varma urges Nitish Kumar to “harmonize what the party constitution says, what the leaders feel in private, and what actions the party takes in public.”

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Published: 21 Jan 2020, 07:51 AM IST
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