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Nitish snubs Pavan Varma, says he is free to leave

Varma had raised questions on JD(U)'s tie-up with the BJP for Delhi polls

By The Telegraph and PTI in Patna
  • Published 23.01.20, 12:14 PM
  • Updated 4.02.20, 6:49 PM
  • 2 mins read
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"He is a learned man for whom I have a lot of respect even if he may not have similar sentiments for me. But is it proper to share such things in public and not on a party forum? What if I start sharing what he said to me in public?" Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said. File picture

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday slammed party leader Pavan Varma for publicly questioning the JD(U)'s tie-up with the BJP for Delhi Assembly elections, saying he was "free to go" wherever he likes.

Kumar, who heads the JD(U), also expressed strong displeasure over Varma, a national general secretary of the party, sharing on the social media a letter wherein he had made mention of the chief minister having expressed apprehensions "in private" about the BJP's "divisive" agenda.

"He is a learned man for whom I have a lot of respect even if he may not have similar sentiments for me. But is it proper to share such things in public and not on a party forum? What if I start sharing what he said to me in public?" Kumar told reporters in Patna.

Responding to Varma's repeated demands for "ideological clarity," Kumar said, "The JD(U)s stand is very clear...he is free to go wherever he likes".

Reacting to Kumar's comments, Varma said he will decide his next course of action depending on the reply from the party chief to his letter and asserted that he will continue to speak "what he believes is for the good of the country and the party".

"I have not received a reply. Depending on the reply from the party president or its absence I will decide on my course of action. I will continue to speak what I believe is right, what is for the good of the country and the party," the former Rajya Sabha member said.

In a letter addressed to Kumar on Tuesday, Varma said that he was “deeply perplexed” by the party’s alliance with the BJP for the Delhi Assembly election and sought “ideological clarity” on the development.

“On more than one occasion, you have expressed your grave apprehensions about the BJP-RSS combine. In my first meeting with you in Patna in 2012, even before I had formally resigned from the IFS, you had spoken to me at length and with conviction on why Narendra Modi and his policies are inimical for the country,” the letter stated.

Varma said that he cannot understand why the JD(U) is extending its alliance with the BJP beyond Bihar, especially when the ruling party at the Centre has embarked on a “massive socially divisive agenda” through the NRC-CAA combine that would harm the peace in the country.

Varma has been strongly opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of CItizens and had urged Kumar to reject the contentious law and exercise.