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JD(U) divided over CAB, Nitish draws opposition flak


Patna, Dec 10: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U), a BJP ally, on Tuesday appeared divided on supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament, with two top party functionaries calling the legislation 'discriminatory and unconstitutional'.

Nitish Kumar

Party vice-president Prashant Kishor and general secretary Pavan K Varma voiced disappointment over the JD(U) backing the Bill in the Lok Sabha, and urged Kumar to 'reconsider' the stand when the legislation is debated in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the BJP expressed gratitude to the alliance partner, which had opposed key legislations like the Triple Talaq bill and the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganization) Bill in the recent past.

However, the JD(U) came under opposition fire for supporting the CAB in Parliament.

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'I urge Shri Nitish Kumar to reconsider support to the #CAB in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and against the unity and harmony of the country, apart from being against the secular principles of the JDU. Gandhiji would have strongly disapproved it,' Varma, also the party's national spokesman, tweeted.

He later told NDTV that he might broach the issue with the Bihar chief minister, who is also the national president, though that would remain between him and me.

When asked if the party's stand in the Lok Sabha stemmed from political necessity as the state will have assembly elections next year, Varma said despite being a constituent of the BJP-led NDA the party has taken contrarian stand on several sensitive issues like Article 370 and instant triple talaq.

The CAB, he said, is not in consonance with JD(U)'s constitution, which cannot be held hostage to political concerns.

Noting that Nitish Kumar had walked in and out of the NDA in the past, he pointed out that while the JD(U)-BJP coalition has given a 'stable and good' government in Bihar, the two parties were contesting Jharkhand assembly polls separately.

'The party has freedom to formulate its views on issues,' he said.

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