'Free to go': Nitish Kumar slams Pavan Varma over JD(U)-BJP tie-up for Delhi polls

Kumar also expressed strong displeasure over Varma sharing on the social media a letter wherein he had made mention of the Bihar CM having expressed apprehensions about the BJP's 'divisive' agenda.

Published: 23rd January 2020 11:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2020 02:22 PM   |  A+A-

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar (File | PTI)

Express News Service

PATNA: Deepening the rift with senior party colleague Pavan Varma, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said the former is free to go anywhere he wants.

The remark came in response to a second letter that the former diplomat and Rajya Sabha member shot off on Wednesday, seeking “ideological clarity” in the wake of the party’s support to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the tie-up with the BJP for the Delhi Assembly elections.

In a terse response to Varma’s letter, the CM said there is no ambiguity on his party’s position on the Act and the alliance with the BJP and decisions on these fronts were arrived at after a good deal of thought.

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“If anyone wishes to go somewhere else, he is free to do so. I wish him well,” the CM said on the sidelines of a function organised on Thursday to mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Earlier, Varma went public with the content of a ‘private conversation’ with the CM, during which the latter is claimed to have voiced his misgivings on the alliance with the BJP.

The CM said, “He is a learned man and I have a lot of respect for him. But I have been dismayed by his public statements of late.”

He said, “If he (Varma), or anyone for that matter, has any issue with it (alliance), he should raise it in party forums instead of going public.”

Quizzed on his response to the letter allegedly quoting him as advocating a ‘BJP and RSS-mukt Bharat’, a visibly upset Nitish said, “Should I go public with what he (Varma) told me in private?”

Later on Thursday, the JD(U) called a meeting of all its MPs, MLAs and top office bearers on January 28.

All issues, including the dissent on the party’s support to CAA and the alliance with the BJP, are likely to figure in the discussions.

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