JD(U)s Pawan Varma questions tie-up with BJP in Delhi polls

 thehindu.com  01/21/2020 14:43:00  2

Ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections, for which Bihars ruling Janata Dal (United) has struck an alliance with the BJP to contest in two (Burari and Sangam Vihar) out of 70 seats, JD(U) leader and national spokesperson Pawan Varma on Tuesday wrote a letter to party president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, asking for his ideological clarity on the pact with the BJP beyond Bihar, especially at a time when the BJP, through the CAA-NPR-NRC combine, has embarked on a massive socially divisive agenda aimed at mutilating the peace, harmony and stability of the country.

This is the first time that we will be broadening and extending our partys association with the BJP through a formal electoral alliance, beyond Bihar& I am deeply perplexed by this development and look to you for ideological clarity, Mr. Varma, who is also the national general secretary of the JD(U), wrote in his two-page letter.

Earlier, the JD(U) had announced it would contest all 70 seats in the Delhi polls.

Nitishs confession

Mr. Varma reminded Mr. Kumar of his confession to him on more than one occasion about his grave apprehensions on the BJP-RSS combine. In my first meeting with you in Patna in August 2012, you had spoken to me at length and with conviction on why Narendra Modi and his policies are inimical for the country, wrote Mr. Varma. When you were leading the Mahagathbandhan, you had openly made a call for RSS Mukt Bharat&these views articulated for a sustained period are a matter of public record.

Mr. Varma earlier too had written a letter to Mr. Kumar, urging him not to support the CAA, the NRC and the NPR.

Party sources told The Hinduthat both Mr. Varma and another leader, Prashant Kishor, had fallen out of Mr. Kumars proximity and were leaving no opportunity to put him (Mr. Kumar) and his party in an embarrassing situation on some issue or the other.

Both are not in the list of 20-star campaigners of the JD(U) for the Delhi elections.

Mr. Varma further said in his letter:

I remember your confession to me in private how the current leadership in BJP party has humiliated you. You maintained on more than one occasion, that the BJP is leading India into a dangerous space. The BJP is destroying institutions and that there is a need for democratic and socialist forces within the country to regroup, a task for which you actually assigned a senior party official.

If these are your real views, I fail to understand how the JD(U) is now extending its alliance with the BJP beyond Bihar when even long-standing allies of the BJP like the Akali Dal have refused to do so.

In view of the above, I think there is an urgent need for the JD(U) to harmonize what the partys constitution says, what the leader of the party feels in private, and what action the party takes in public&politics, as you have emphasised to us, must be about principle and the courage of conviction. I look forward to receiving some ideological clarity from you, either in a formal meeting of the JD(U) or through such means as you consider best.

Refutes speculations

Mr. Varma reached Patna on Tuesday to participate in a function and refuted the speculations that he was going to join the Congress. When asked if he would Mr. Kumar, he said: Why not? He is my party boss and if he would like to meet me and invite, Ill certainly meet him.

State JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh said he doesnt want to make any comment on Mr. Varmas letter. Whats wrong if our party, which is in alliance with the BJP in Bihar, has struck an electoral alliance with them in Delhi?, he said.

Senior State Congress leader and party MLC Prem Chandra Mishra said, I must congratulate Mr. Varma for his audacity to show a mirror to Nitish Kumar who has been making turnarounds on several occasions for his political survival.

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