Written byShalini Ojha ·
In a development that will hardly surprise political observers, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday expelled poll-strategist Prashant Kishor and Pavan Verma from Janata Dal (United), over their controversial statements in the last couple of days.
Kishor has been launching a sharp attack on JD(U) for siding with BJP on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), claiming the party forgot its secular values.
Kishor, credited for designing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2014 election campaign, joined NDA ally JD(U) in 2018 and was seen as the number 2 after Kumar.
As political circles projected Kishor as Kumar's successor, he also started calling the shots, miffing senior party members like Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh, Ramchandra Prasad Singh alias RCP, state president Bashishtha Narayan Singh.
As the discomfort of senior party leaders reached Kumar, he virtually ended all speculations about Kishor being his successor.
"Let us not talk in terms of successors. This is not monarchy," Kumar told a news channel in January 2019.
The message for Kishor was clear — he shouldn't get too ambitious.
In fact, during Lok Sabha polls, months later, Kishor was nowhere visible.
Seemingly upset, Kishor sparked more tensions when he disapproved of the way Kumar exited the gathbandhan with RJD. The poll strategist said the JD(U) should have gone for fresh elections, a News18 report said.
The last nail in the coffin was clearly Kishor's open criticism for CAA. JD(U) supported the Bill when it was presented in the Parliament, and Kishor's attacks didn't stop after that.
Kishor, quite an active user of Twitter, led the charge against CAA urging non-BJP ruled states to show the way.
He also slammed Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for not taking charge of the "battle".
After tolerating Kishor's complaints for weeks, Kumar virtually showed him the door by saying he wouldn't be bothered even if he left.
"Someone is tweeting, let him tweet. What do I've to do with it? One can stay JD(U) till he wants. He can go if he wants...Do you know how did he join the party? Amit Shah asked me to induct him," Kumar said.
.@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?
Considering how ties soured lately, Kishor's expulsion doesn't come as a surprise. After his ouster from JD(U), the poll strategist hoped that Kumar "retains" his chair as Bihar CM.
Like Kishor, the axe also fell on another leader — Pavan Verma, who disapproved of the fact that Kumar joined hands with BJP for Delhi polls.
He said the party chief was showing double standards.
Verma, a former member of Rajya Sabha, wrote a letter about the tie-up with BJP and also questioned the party's stand on CAA, which has sparked protests.
"He once said how BJP is taking the country to dangerous times. When the time came, he went ahead and forged an alliance with the BJP," he told India Today.
After being expelled, Verma hoped JD(U) becomes more tolerant.
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