Janata Dal-United's Prashant Kishor on Sunday thanked Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for 'formal and unequivocal' rejection of the National Register of Citizens and reassured the people of Bihar, ruled by his party, that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and NRC will not be implemented in the state.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, an ally of the JD-U headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, got rankled by the commendation of the opposition party by the former election strategist.
The saffron party came out with a statement criticising 'over intelligent and super knowledgeable people' for their propaganda on NRC and asserted that the CAA was
passed in Parliament with JD-U's support and 'it will be implemented in all concerned states, including Bihar'.
'I join my voice with all to thank #Congress leadership for their formal and unequivocal rejection of #CAA-NRC. Both @rahulgandhi & @priyankagandhi deserve special
thanks for their efforts on this count,' Kishor tweeted reacting to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) resolution.
The CWC has demanded that the CAA be withdrawn and the process of NPR stopped forthwith, accusing the BJP-led government at the Centre of using its brute majority to impose a 'divisive and discriminatory' agenda.
42-year-old Kishor, whose first claim to fame was the management of Narendra Modi's election campaign in 2014, said, "Also would like to reassure to all -- Bihar mein CAA-NRC laagu nahin hoga (CAA-NRC will not be implemented in Bihar)."
Kishor had joined the JD-U in September 2018 as a full-time member and has been elevated to the post of national vice president of the party.
His relationship with the BJP has remained uneasy since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls after which he has offered his professional services to parties like the Congress (in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab), Trinamool Congress (West Bengal) and the Aam Aadmi Party (Delhi) -- all bitterly opposed to the saffron party.
Kishor's recent tirades against his party for supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and his vociferous opposition to NPR and NRC had raised the hackles of the BJP.
The saffron party's Bihar unit spokesperson Nikhil Anand came out with a statement in response, dripping with sarcasm but without mentioning Kishor by name.
"Some over intelligent and super knowledgeable people are creating propaganda on NRC. But the fact is that there is no initiative by the central government on the issue. We thank the PM, the HM for bringing such much-needed legislation of CAA.
"We appreciate the support of our NDA (National Democratic Alliance) allies including CM Nitish Kumar ji in passing the Bill in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The CAA will be implemented in all the concerned states including Bihar and there is no question on this matter. Bihar government has already notified start of the NPR in May 2020," Anand said.
The BJP spokesperson said that those opposing CAA must know that India is not like the United States of America which has dual citizenship.
"The right to enact legislation related to Census and Citizenship comes within the ambit of Union Govt only and every state has to follow the law created by parliament on these issues.
"Do these people want the state governments to take independent decisions on issues related to citizenship and Census which is the sole jurisdiction of the union government and Parliament as per the Constitution of India?" he said.
Anand said such thought is a disrespect to the federal structure and Constitution of India.