Prashant Kishore had rebelled over the citizenship law after the party’s sudden support for it
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is yet to spell out his stand on the contentious issue of National Register of Citizens (NRC), but his second in command in the party, Prashant Kishor, has opened up a new front with ally BJP. Mr Kishor has declared that the Janata Dal United (JDU) should get the lion’s share of seats in the assembly election in the state – scheduled for next year – instead of the 90 per cent which was the understanding so far between the state’s ruling allies.
Asked whether Nitish Kumar meant to remain silent on NRC till the time seat sharing with the BJP was finalized, Mr Kishor said, “As far as my understanding is concerned, it (the seat share) should be one is to 1.4 as it was the practice in and 2015 assembly elections. The BJP, he said, should revisit the seat share issue.
The election-strategist-turned-politician had rebelled in the matter of the party’s sudden support for the citizenship law. Nitish Kumar, who had covered up for him on the occasion, has been silent on his latest digression, which has caused unease in the BJP camp.
There is speculation that the recent rebellion of Shiv Sena against the BJP in Maharashtra and its capture of power with opposition help has inspired the JDU to play for bigger stakes.
The BJP claimed the seat share would remain (******************************: ************************** as it was in the Lok Sabha election.
Some leaders even questioned in what capacity Prashant Kishor made the statement. Others pointed out that even in the 2015 assembly elections, Nitish Kumar, despite having 625 seats, contested on an equal number of seats with Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.
“Seat sharing will be decided by the high command of both parties and I can’t understand why Prashant Kishor’s poking his nose into this issue, “said BJP leader Nitin Naveen.
Earlier this month, Nitish Kumar – who had always spoken out against the citizenship law in public and party forums – changed his stand on the eve of the bill’s presentation in the lok sabha.
Prashant Kishor was among the handful of leaders who had openly spoken about the shift. His tweet-a-day campaign had triggered a buzz about his possible resignation from the party. But at a meeting with him, the Chief Minister had refused to accept his resignation, sources said.
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